A traumatic brain injury can be a catastrophic injury that changes the rest of your life. It can impact your cognitive function and your motor function. You could spend the rest of your life dealing with impairment and disabilities. The three or four seconds of a car accident could stay with you for years to come.
The ramifications are different for everyone. It depends on a host of factors, such as how soon you get medical care, how severe the injuries are and what part of your brain gets injured in the crash. Some people can't ever work again. Some can't even walk. Others appear fine, but they lack the mental capacity to problem solve or speak. Still others have trouble with their memories. This just scratches the surface of the potential symptoms.
One thing that often goes overlooked, though, is the emotional impact of a TBI. Even if everything else heals properly, the emotional damage and accompanying behavioral changes can alter the course of your life. You may lose friends. You may get divorced. You may get fired from your job. You may find it impossible to connect with those around you.
Clearly, the brain injury still has a massive personal -- and financial -- impact on your life. This is just part of the equation. Make sure you know what symptoms and changes you could see. A few examples include:
- Becoming irritable. You may snap at everyone. Little things can set you off. This is when family members often say they feel like they don't know you anymore.
- Feeling impatient all of the time. Some of your impatience may be directed at others, while some of it could center on your own physical or mental impairments. Remember, emotional challenges often come with other symptoms.
- Not tolerating stressful situations. This can end your career. Work brings stress. Successful workers know how to manage it. You may no longer feel fit to run a company or hold a management position.
- Struggling with denial. If you do have other symptoms -- physical or mental disabilities, for instance -- you may find yourself trapped in a cycle of denial, refusing to realize that life has changed forever.
- Feeling fatigued and sluggish. People often sleep a lot more often after a brain injury. Even when they're awake, they may lack the enthusiasm that they once had.
- Acting aggressively. Unfortunately, a brain injury can lead you to lash out at those who mean the most to you. Aggression may become your natural response. This could go hand-in-hand with less tolerance for stress or increased feelings of impatience.
- Having emotions that are either heightened or flattened. You no longer react to things the way you should, whether that means you act disconnected from what is happening around you or that you overreact to small stressors and events.
As you can see, a brain injury really impacts all areas of your life. Make sure you know about the legal options you have in Louisiana in the wake of a serious car accident.