How TBI Affects Relationships

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A Ripple Effect on Relationships

Emotional Upheaval

A TBI survivor and often those close to them may experience different emotional stages after a brain injury. Some health care professionals break it down to seven stages:

  1. Confusion
  2. Denial
  3. Anger/guilt
  4. Hope
  5. Depression
  6. Acceptance
  7. Understanding

Expect Depression

Depression is an important symptom to recognize and understand because it is very common symptom reported after a TBI. Many people do not realize that the two are related. Depression often involves a feeling of deep despair that does not feel like it will get better. It interferes with a person’s ability to function on a daily basis. Family members or friends may think the injured person merely needs to adjust their attitude or stop feeling sorry for themselves. However, the injured person and their family members may not realize that the depression can be a secondary medical condition caused by physical changes in the brain that regulate neurochemicals and control emotions. Depression can also occur as an emotional response to the frustration and sadness from an ongoing disability, frequent pain or other changes in life circumstance.

Adjusting to a New Reality

The severity of a brain injury is also a factor. The more serious and long lasting the symptoms, the greater the potential to effect the emotions, lives and relationships of survivors and their family members. One reason is that brain injury survivors often have new personality traits, fears and limitations. Many spouses feel like they are “married to a stranger.” These factors create uncertainty and increase stress in the home. Education and communication become crucial for understanding and supporting the relationship. Therapy can help provide the insights, skills and support to improve the relationship.

Call an NYC Attorney for Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in New York, contact the Sheindlin Law Firm, by calling 212-625-8030. You can also get in touch with the Manhattan office using our online form to schedule your first appointment with a lawyer.

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