Personality changes are a common effect of traumatic brain injury, and are often cited by family and friends as the most difficult effect to deal with. In some cases personality changes are short term and resolve as the patient recovers, while in other cases the personality changes are permanent.

Types of Personality Changes

Personality changes, emotional problems, and problem behaviors that may result from traumatic brain injury include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Apathy
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Aggression and violence
  • Impulsivity
  • Lack of inhibition
  • Acting out
  • Noncompliance
  • Social inappropriateness
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Childish behavior
  • Impaired self-control
  • Impaired self-awareness
  • Inability to take responsibility or accept criticism
  • Inappropriate sexual activity
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

Treatment for Personality Changes

Most survivors of traumatic brain injury who suffer from personality changes, emotional problems, and problem behaviors will be treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. While these issues can be extremely frustrating, there are effective ways of dealing with them.