Why does someone’s personality change after a brain injury, and is there anything I can do to help my husband recover his pre-injury personality traits?

When damage occurs to certain areas of the brain, personality changes can occur. For example, an injury to the frontal lobe may affect emotions, behavior and impulse control. As a result, people who have suffered damage to their left or right frontal lobes often suffer personality changes. While some changes in personality can be subtle, many brain injury victims suffer from noticeable changes in their emotions, behaviors, memories and more.

If your husband’s brain injury was significant, he may be more likely to suffer from agitation, volatile emotions, and impulse control issues.  It is not uncommon for brain injury survivors to be physically or sexually aggressive and verbally abusive. Angry outbursts can be triggered when a brain injury victim knows he doesn’t feel like himself and feels like he has lost control over his life.

Accepting Limitations Will Ease Healing

If your husband’s memory was affected, he may not even be able to understand certain reasoning; however, he may be aware of his losses, which could be the reason an angry outburst was triggered. He could be frustrated due to his impairments, which may affect his ability to get along with others. By recognizing these things, you may find that his behavioral outbursts are his way of communicating his distress.

While you might not ever be able to get your husband back to his old pre-injury self, there are techniques and strategies that can help you improve things. He will need to work on controlling his angry outbursts and improving self-control, and you will need to learn how to communicate with him in a new way. In order to improve your marriage and family life after a brain injury, it is important to seek the advice of a medical professional to make sure your husband is getting the right therapy and treatment he needs.