Emotional Signs and Symptoms of TBI Victims

Look for mood swings as well as any changes in personality

Any traumatic blow to the head or body can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Some TBI symptoms are hard to miss—loss of consciousness, paralysis, slurred speech, and impaired coordination are only some of the most obvious.

Emotional signs and symptoms, however, might be harder to notice. If you have suffered a traumatic accident, or if a loved one has, look for the following emotional symptoms that might be signs of a TBI.

Anyone Experiencing

After a TBI, some victims become “thin skinned” and cranky. Of course, anyone experience physical pain (like TBI victims) will unsurprisingly become irritable. However, TBI victims often experience persistent frustration or anger, especially when they can no longer perform simple tasks that were once easy. For example, a TBI victim might no longer be able to balance a checkbook or follow simple directions. If simple tasks frequently anger you or a loved one, then you could be dealing with a TBI.

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are two common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. Everyone feels nervous sometimes, especially after a traumatic accident. For example, after a car accident it is understandable that you might be nervous about riding in a car.

However, TBI victims experience a sense of dread or peril that has no obvious trigger. These strong emotions might come out of the blue and be difficult to manage without anti-anxiety drugs.

Many TBI victims also experience a prolonged and deep depression. As a result, they might begin contemplating suicide or other self-harm. Some TBI victims will need antidepressants, otherwise depression can spiral out of control and worsen physical symptoms such as insomnia or fatigue.

Mood Swings

After a traumatic brain injury, many patients experience dramatic mood swings. Often, an ordinary day feels like a rollercoaster ride. Generally, mood swings stem from injuries to the frontal lobe of the brain. TBI victims might need medication and behavioral therapy to manage these symptoms.


Those who suffer severe TBIs have an increased risk of developing disorders like schizophrenia. Because severe TBIs often leave victims in a state of physical helplessness, personality changes like schizophrenia might not be immediately apparent. Instead, family members are so focused on coping with their loved one’s physical disabilities that emerging mental disorders get overlooked.

However, if you notice hallucinations, delusions, or confused thoughts, then you might have schizophrenia. Other symptoms include being jumpy or nearly catatonic, as well as a lack of interest in hygiene and self-care. Unfortunately, those with the condition are usually unaware of it, so concerned family members should raise the issue with a physician if they notice these symptoms.

You are Not Alone

Traumatic brain injuries disrupt a victim’s life but also the lives of supportive family members. As you struggle to piece your life together, you might feel that you have no one supporting you. At Neustrom & Associates, we fight for TBI victims and get them the compensation they need. To schedule your free consultation, please contact us today.