A Traumatic Brain Injury Can Lead to Aggression

A Traumatic Brain Injury Can Lead to Aggression

When people are involved in a car accident, one of the injuries that they could sustain is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Depending on the location of the wound inside the skull, there could be emotional changes, such as increased aggression. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries impact countless families every year. Sometimes, these injuries can lead to permanent complications. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS):

  • The total costs associated with traumatic brain injuries is about $50 billion a year.
  • TBIs are over 20 times more common than spinal cord injuries.
  • Head and brain injuries result in the deaths of close to 3,000 children under the age of 14 every year.
  • Between 80,000 and 90,000 people develop lifelong disabilities related to a TBI each year.
  • The majority of traumatic brain injuries are the result of an auto accident.
These numbers show that traumatic brain injuries are a clear problem. Unfortunately, the emotional complications related to a traumatic brain injury can be significant.

Why do Emotions Change Following a TBI?

The brain controls all of the body’s motor and sensory functions, including emotions. These emotions are handled by areas of the brain such as the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the parietal lobe. If an individual suffers a TBI, these lobes could be damaged by the impact. There are several ways which someone might experience a head or brain injury. These include:

  • An auto accident
  • A slip and fall injury
  • Physical assault
  • Competitive sports
  • A fall from a great height

Depending on the location of the impact, the emotional centers of the brain could be damaged. This can lead to serious emotional changes. To identify small changes in the brain following an impact, an MRI scan is often required. This will localize any damage inside the brain following a traumatic brain injury. Any major changes in the brain’s emotional centers should show up on an MRI.

The Results of a Study

A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry looked at individuals who were in counseling for aggressive behavior. Thirty-one individuals were referred to the program due to marital violence. This could include physical assault, emotional abuse, or even sexual assault. On review of the medical cases, close to two-thirds of the individuals had a medical history significant for a traumatic brain injury.

Furthermore, about half of the individuals had also developed alcoholism. A significant number of individuals had also engaged in child abuse. These numbers show that aggression following a TBI can manifest itself in many forms. A TBI can drive people to drink alcohol in excess, making it even more likely that they would engage in domestic violence.

Treatment of Emotional Issues: Aggression

Emotional changes are not unusual following a TBI. In addition to increased aggression, people could also develop other mental health issues. These include:

  • The development of major depressive disorder
  • Possible development of bipolar disorder
  • On rare occasions, psychosis can develop in the form of hallucinations and delusions
It is important for everyone with mental health disorders to receive treatment quickly. A balanced treatment approach is essential. This will typically include targeted counseling in addition to medical therapy. The sooner a treatment plan is put in place, the better chance someone has at making a recovery.
Watch YouTube Video: The Effect of Trauma on the Brain and How It Affects Behaviors. In this TEDx Talks video, Dr. John Rigg discusses how the brain reacts to sensory information and generates non-thinking reactions before our brains are able to process the event and formulate a response.

Contacting an Injury Lawyer

Following a traumatic brain injury, it is normal for family members to have questions. These could be related to the circumstances surrounding the accident, the logistical issues related to the head injury, and the potential financial burden. A TBI lawyer in San Francisco can provide families with the resources that they need to get their recovery started. Families need to know that they aren’t alone after a severe accident, particularly one with a TBI. Contact a Bay Area TBI lawyer today. You and your family could be owed a financial award.

TBI Lawyers in San Francisco

I’m Ed Smith, a San Francisco TBI lawyer. Behavioral complications can develop following a traumatic brain injury, and one of these is aggression. If one of your loved ones has sustained a significant traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle collision, please contact me at (415) 805-7284 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Top One Percent, a National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

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