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Clues of Brain Injury

If you have had a brain injury, or know someone who has, these are some of the natural reactions that the body exhibits behaviorally, emotionally, cognitively, physically, and with their personality. This information is helpful to you, so you can know what to expect in helping care for a loved one, or if you are experiencing these symptoms. Please click here for a list of available resources in your area for traumatic brain injury.

References: Centers for Disease Control, Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: A Report to Congress.  Lewin –ICF. The Cost of Disorders of the Brain Washington, DC: The National Foundation for the Brain, 1992.

Behavioral Issues

  • Wanders off / runs away
  • Impulsive (acts without thinking)
  • Reduced self-esteem
  • Repeated invasion of personal space
  • Short fuse – unable to control outbursts
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships

Cognitive Issues

  • Easily distracted
  • Seems to “space out”
  • Difficulty understanding
  • Difficulty with reality
  • Seems confused
  • Poor memory
  • Decreased safety awareness
  • Slow to answer questions
  • Difficulty organizing (time, etc.)

Personality Issues

  • Denies deficits
  • Irritable
  • Egotistical
  • Doesn’t listen
  • Asks a lot of questions
  • Argumentative
  • Manipulative
  • Appears unmotivated
  • Moody – laughs or cries easily
  • Depressed
  • Face shows little or no emotion
  • Appears angry

Physical Issues

  • Fatigue and / or weakness
  • Spasticity and tremors
  • Motor coordination
  • Speech difficulties
  • Seizures
  • Balance
  • Mobility
  • Taste or smell changes

Social Issues

  • Inappropriate social interaction (overly formal or overly friendly)
  • Interrupts conversations
  • Fabricates stories / lies
  • Inappropriate conversation (sex, drugs, alcohol abuse, etc.)
  • Poor eye contact
  • Goes off on tangents

Verbal Issues

  • Poor speech
  • Speaks in a monotone
  • Vulgarity / swearing
  • Talks too loud or too soft
  • Has difficulty “finding” words
  • Broken speech