Most of us think of the consequences of a car accident as physical- things like whiplash and broken bones are common. You may also worry about the financial impact, insurance claims, and the physical condition of your car itself. What many of us don’t think about is other life changes that can be impacted by a crash, like a change in behavior or personality. However, accident doctors are very familiar with these effects and how to diagnose and treat them. It is important to understand the potential reasons this can occur and the correct ways to seek help if you experience this phenomenon.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury often occurs as a result of hitting the head against a hard surface. In a car accident, the impact can cause a head to strike things like a dashboard, windshield, window, or other car parts. In many cases, this injury will be obvious and present at the time of an accident. The injured party may lose consciousness, experience marked confusion, or in severe cases enter a coma. If none of these occur, immediate x-rays may reveal problems like a fractured skull, subdural or epidural hematoma, or brain bleeds and they can be treated rapidly.
Some brain injuries have more subtle presentations and can be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms often vary from person to person. Changes in personality or behavior can be harder to track or connect to the car crash, but can be an indicator that the brain has suffered damage. These changes can range from slight changes in personality or temperament to intense depression, irritability, or an inability to regulate impulses and behaviors that were regulated prior to the accident. For many people, these symptoms disappear as the brain heals, though some people will never recover and will need a lifetime of medical care.
In addition to personality shifts, you may experience memory and concentration impairment, a lack of motivation or drive, or an inability to make complex decisions. These can indicate the same types of injuries and lead to long-term changes in way of life.
Other Personality Changes
In some cases, accident victims may experience personality changes that do not end up a result of physical injuries to the brain. The trauma of an accident can lead to anxiety or depression in those involved, or in some cases even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A dangerous crash that endangered your life can cause perspective to change and behavior may follow. There is also often guilt involved, as well as worry about the financial impact of the crash. While this is not the same as traumatic brain injuries, it is important to keep track of these changes and seek help as needed.
Treating Brain Injuries
If you experience personality changes after an accident, you may be unsure of the proper care to seek. An injury and accident doctors are highly trained to identify any issues related to a car crash, including brain injuries. The team of specialists at AICA Orthopedics are trained to identify these issues specifically and determine the root cause, whether there was a traumatic brain injury or psychological impact. Depending on the type and extent of injury sustained, treatment can take many different forms. The number one priority is healing and AICA Orthopedics focuses on a personalized plan that will specifically address our body’s needs in the wake of an accident.
Using our cutting edge technology and imaging equipment, we will be able to perform initial diagnostics to determine what is needed and pair you with the appropriate specialists. If your injury is mild, we will work with you to ensure you get the rest and pain management needed as we monitor you going forward.
If your injury is more severe, you will have access to our fully functioning orthopedic clinic to develop a comprehensive plan for emergency and long-term care. Our team of physical therapists, neurologists, pain management specialists, and radiologists will work together to determine the immediate steps that can begin your path to healing.
If you have been in a car accident and are beginning to experience marked personality or behavior changes, contact AICA Orthopedics today to be evaluated by our team of experts.