Once a brain injury survivor is aware of the long-term effects of the head trauma that he or she sustained, it is typical to feed sad, frustrated, and even depressed about one’s new reality. Sometimes a brain injury affects the emotional centers of the brain and the sufferer becomes incapable of the same emotional responses he or she had prior to the injury. In either case, a brain injury survivor will need professional help and support.
Common Emotions Following a Brain Injury
Although everyone is different, people with brain injuries often experience similar emotions including:
- Confusion. In the immediate aftermath of a brain injury, it is very common to be confused and even agitated. This stage can last for a few days or for several months.
- Denial. Learning about a new injury can be overwhelming, and some brain injury survivors deny that there is anything wrong with them. Instead, they may believe that everything will return to normal instead of accepting the fact that they may have some brain damage and other impairments as a result of the head trauma. With help, those with brain injuries can overcome this stage.
- Anger. Once brain injury survivors accept their new injuries and reality, they often go through a period of anger and depression. This is a very normal reaction for people who have to cope with serious injuries. Unfortunately, many people stay stuck in this emotional stage and aren’t able to move onto the next stage.
- Acceptance. Although no victim living with a head injury willingly accepts their injuries, many survivors are eventually able to accept their new limitations, changes in relationships, and challenges moving forward. Although extremely difficult, some people are able to cope with their injuries better than others.
Dealing With Emotions
While it is normal for victims of head injuries to experience a wide range of emotions, it is not so easy dealing with these negative emotions—not for the survivor or the family. This is why it is critical that brain injury survivors get professional counseling. Because all brain injuries are unique, different types of counseling may be necessary such as:
- One-on-one counseling. Most brain injury victims will need to work through their feelings in a private counseling session in order to find appropriate ways to deal with their emotions.
- Support groups. There are brain injury support groups that can help people talk with others who have similar problems.
- Peer mentoring. Sometimes people living with brain injuries are available to provide help and support to a newly diagnosed brain injury survivor.
Recovering from the emotional aspects caused by a brain injury can be a lifelong journey, which is why victims of brain injuries need to get the maximum compensation in order to get the best mental health care possible. Counseling can be expensive, and money should not come between you and getting the help you need. If you have suffered a brain injury as a result of medical malpractice and you need to speak with an attorney, call our office at (703) 591-0067 for a free consultation.