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Effects of Brain Injury


Tiredness, headaches, weakness, reduced balance/co-ordination, mobility difficulties, loss of control of functions, epilepsy, affected taste/smell/sight/hearing etc

90% of people receiving a severe brain injury make a good physical recovery. This means their disability is effectively hidden – but it remains nonetheless real. This is why brain injury is often referred to as the ‘hidden’ disability – people can empathise over a broken leg, but are less likely to understand something that they can’t see.

In this section we hope to give you a little understanding of some of the effects that people may experience as a result of a brain injury. No two people are affected in quite the same way and each person may have their own unique set of problems.The experience of a brain injury can be very confusing in ways that the BI person may find difficult to describe and often may not be aware of some of the effects themselves.

The effects of a brain injury can be many and varied and whether a person has a mild, moderate or severe brain injury, one or many of the following may be experienced:-


  • Difficulty following a converstation, TV programmes etc

  • Memory problems

  • Difficulty solving a problem or making a decision

  • Lack of concentration/short attention span

  • Difficulty dealing with everyday tasks – dressing, cooking, shopping etc

  • Problems with following instructions

  • Difficulty understanding things

  • Poor reasoning

  • Loss of previously learned skills

  • Difficulty learning new things

  • Lack of awareness of problems

Social skills

  • Inappropriate social behaviour

  • Withdrawn/lacking confidence

  • Difficulty maintaining relationships

  • Sexual problems

  • Poor judgement

  • Communicaiton difficulties

  • Less tolerant – noise, crowds etc

  • Lack of goals

  • Loss of previously learned skills

  • Showing/recognising emotion

Study group having fun
Dreamy look

Behaviour and emotional

  • Personality change

  • Mood swings

  • Depression

  • Aggression

  • Lack of motivation

  • Disinhibition

  • Less tolerant – noise, crowds etc

  • Lack of goals

  • Loss of previously learned skills

  • Showing/recognising emotions

The severity of their difficulties will also vary:

  • Some will be obvious

  • Some will be less so

  • Difficulty maintaining relationships

  • Many people go through stages where they may experience these difficulties and then adapt with time

  • Others may be left with long term problems

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