Can a Brain Injury Cause Aggression?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) develop when a blow to the head or a sudden jolt of the body damages the brain tissues. Traumatic brain injuries can have a wide range of consequences. The extent of brain injury symptoms depends on how severely the brain is injured and what area of the brain is affected.
Many people do not realize that a traumatic brain injury can significantly impact a person’s emotional functions, which may lead to symptoms such as aggression. Here, traumatic brain injury lawyers from Quick Law Group, PLLC in Bellevue, WA, discuss the prevalence of aggression after a brain injury. They explain what may cause it and how it can be managed.
How Common Is Aggression After a Brain Injury?
When someone suffers from a traumatic brain injury, they are likely to struggle with a wide range of symptoms that affect their physical and cognitive functions. This can lead to increased anxiety, frustration, and depression. While some degree of anger is completely natural when recovering from a brain injury, some of our Bellevue clients report aggressive behavior that goes beyond the emotional reaction to their injury.
When someone has a difficult time controlling their emotions or begins exhibiting aggressive outbursts after a TBI, it is likely a side effect of the injury.
Research on Brain Injury and Aggression
Many studies have been conducted to evaluate the link between traumatic brain injury and aggression.
According to a study by the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, the prevalence of aggression within three months of a TBI was 28.4 percent. In the patients evaluated in this particular study, the predominant behavior was verbal aggression. The findings of this study are in line with other studies, where the prevalence of post-TBI aggression is generally estimated to be between 11 and 34 percent.
What Causes Aggression After a Brain Injury?
Aggression after a traumatic brain injury is usually caused by damage to the frontal lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe plays a large role in reasoning, problem solving, and impulse control. When frontal lobe tissues are damaged, it becomes more difficult for people to react to situations rationally. Instead, they are prone to emotional outbursts, which may include aggressive and violent behavior.
Strategies for Coping with Aggression After a TBI
When dealing with aggression yourself, or living with a loved one who is exhibiting aggressive behavior after a TBI, is it helpful to recognize and avoid potential triggers of stress and anger. Common triggers include:
- Lack of sleep
- Low blood sugar levels (hunger)
- Basic tasks or activities that can no longer be easily performed
- New environments/situations
While it is helpful to avoid situations that can lead to aggressive behavior, the best way to manage aggression after a TBI is with medical treatment. Many brain injury victims require behavioral therapy and psychological counseling to handle the emotional changes caused by a brain injury. If individuals are particularly withdrawn or have experienced extreme changes in behavior, medication may also be necessary.
Contact Our Practice
If you or a loved one is experiencing physical, cognitive, or emotional difficulties following a TBI, you may be due compensation for related damages. Brain injury lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC, can examine the details of your injury to determine if another person or party is liable for your losses. To schedule a consultation at our Bellevue law firm, send us a message online, or call (425) 576-8150 at your earliest convenience.