A traumatic brain injury (TBI) could be the result of blunt force trauma, penetrating injuries or violent vehicle motions during a car crash. Whatever causes the TBI, a brain injury victim can expect a long road to recovery and potentially permanent medical consequences.
Every brain injury is different because the brain of every person is somewhat unique. Brain injuries can cause many different types of symptoms that can influence someone’s health, career and interpersonal relationships. Sometimes, brain injuries have an impact on communication skills that can impact their relationships or income. These are some of the ways that a TBI could affect an individual’s ability to communicate with others.
One of the warning signs of a TBI is the unexplainable presentation of slurred or otherwise compromised speech ability. Individuals may speak in a manner that makes it seem that they have had too much to drink, but it could actually be the consequences of an as-of-yet undiagnosed and untreated TBI that affects the clarity of their speech.
Language and accent changes
Although it is somewhat rare, individuals may develop completely different speech patterns after a TBI. In some cases, individuals begin speaking with an accent. There have even been cases where individuals begin primarily communicating in a different language after a trauma to the head. Researchers have also found, interestingly enough, that those who already have command of more than one language tend to more quickly and thoroughly recover from brain injuries than those who only speak one language.
Changes in personality and mood
Communication isn’t just about cognitive ability and linguistic habits. Someone’s personality and emotional state will influence how they communicate by altering their word choice, body language and tone of voice. TBIs have a strong association with changes in people’s typical mood and personality, which can significantly influence their communication skills as well. Those changes in personality may put pressure on personal relationships or also affect someone’s ability to continue performing a career in which those skills are important, like managerial or sales work. Consequences that are seemingly minor, like changes in how someone communicates with others, can drastically increase the impact that a TBI has on an individual’s daily life and finances.
Ultimately, understanding the various unique ways that a TBI can affect someone may benefit those adjusting to life with a brain injury after a car crash to make more informed decisions about their approach to both medical care and legal opportunities for compensation.