Surprising Long Term Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury [Insight for Caregivers]
As someone who cares deeply about a Colorado traumatic brain injury victim, you face many unpalatable, challenging choices in months ahead.
For instance, you may need to make decisions regarding whether a concussed and unconscious spouse should undergo surgery, or you may have to come to terms with the fact that your loved one’s personality has been radically altered by the brain injury.
Why Brain Injuries Are Different – Trauma’s Chancy Affects on Neurochemistry
The brain is an unfathomably complex and poorly understood organ. Despite our increasingly advanced knowledge of neurobiology, scientists still don’t know what causes the changes that take place in the brain after it has been violently disturbed by collision, penetration or illness (or some combination thereof).
Some evidence suggests that trauma to the brain – one-time events, like car accidents or falls, as well as chronic events, such as minor football concussions that add up over the season – can re-sculpt the brain’s electrical pathways. Once the brain’s preferred pathways have been changed or resculpted, an array of symptoms can follow, including speech loss or speech change, memory loss, problems seeing or hearing, and personality changes.
Unpredictable Medical Nature of A Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain injuries can also lead to a frustrating and depressing cycle of two steps forward, one step backward. A victim might seem like she’s on the road to recovery for a few months, only to suffer a relapse for no discernible medical reason. This lack of predictability makes caregiving for a TBI victim that much more challenging. Someone who “only” breaks a leg, for instance, will likely, over time, slowly but surely regain some function in the leg. A Traumatic Brain Injury victim’s medical progress may not be nearly as linear, and small backward steps can trigger strong emotions as well as nervousness about the prognosis.
Changes in Personality – Anger Issues, ADHD, Depression and More
One of the biggest challenges for caregivers often involves the victim’s personality changes. Many military families, for instance, report that soldiers who have been injured in Afghanistan, Iraq and other arenas often don’t behave “like themselves” after returning from deployment.
For instance, a wife concussed and hurt in an IED explosion in Iraq might return home only to demonstrate surprising personality tendencies, like being withdrawn, being unable to control anger and being less empathetic. Such Traumatic Brain Injury consequences can be so severe that they destroy or deteriorate relationships, leading to divorce, job loss, alienation from loved ones, and beyond.
To make sense of what you and your family can do to take control of the situation, talk to our experienced Colorado traumatic brain injury attorneys. Contact the Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC, at 720-515-7058.