Head blows can occur in many different ways. No one wants that to happen to them, but if it does, then you would hope the injury is not too severe. In time, perhaps you’ll be able to recover with no adverse effects.
In some instances, with more serious head injuries, your entire lifestyle can change. Let’s look at ways that your life might be different following this type of incident.
If you fall and hurt your head or something strikes you, you can sustain a skull fracture. Any blow to the head can damage brain tissue, and it can also tear the membrane that surrounds your brain. When that happens:
- Bacteria might enter the wound, causing an infection
- It can threaten your life or cause lasting damage
If you suffer an external head wound, it’s critical that you keep it clean. Doctors might also give you antibiotics to prevent infection.
Brain damage can lead to sensory changes as well. Those might include:
- Taste loss
- Smell loss
Because of the brain’s neural connections, any head blow can throw off these processes. You might start to have vision blind spots.
You may also not be able to regulate your body’s temperature as well as you once could. You’ll often feel either too cold or too hot.
Because the brain is the thought nerve center, your every mental process and way of dealing with the world take place there. You might not be able to solve problems as well after a head blow, even relatively simple ones.
You may not be able to process information as well as you once could. Even simply thinking about something and making determinations about it might be a struggle.
You might have been a great mental tactician, but you can lose that ability after a serious head blow. It’s possible this ability could return in time, or you may never get it back, depending on the injury severity.
People who suffer head and brain injuries sometimes feel depressed as well. Even if you always had a cheerful disposition before, that might not be the case after this type of accident. Your family and friends may find that you are different than you used to be.
It might be almost impossible to return to the person you once were. Things like therapy can help, but the old version of you might be gone forever, and you’ll only be a poor facsimile of that individual.
You also might have trouble containing your emotions following a head injury. You might cry or laugh easily, even when it’s not appropriate to do so. You may not know why you’re reacting that way, and it could be embarrassing for you and those around you.
In time, these outbursts might die down, or you could learn to control them. It’s also possible, though, that they’ll never go away if the injury is bad enough. That will make it tough to be in social situations where people expect a particular decorum.
You also might lose your empathy capacity. When someone else hurts themselves, you might not find yourself capable of sympathizing with them. If they’re upset, you may not be able to understand why.
This is not you being cruel. You may have damaged the brain part that allows you to be compassionate, through no fault of your own.
Even though you’re not doing it intentionally, some people might find it difficult to be around you because of this. You could lose friendships or not feel as close to some individuals as you once did.
Following a head injury, some people also develop post-traumatic stress disorder. This is a condition that some soldiers develop or individuals trying to get over robberies, assaults, or natural disasters.
You might remember how the injury occurred, or you might not recall it at all. PTSD is possible in either situation.
You might need medication or therapy to work through it. With a little luck, it’s possible that your symptoms might lessen in time.
There are support groups you might go to where you can talk about what’s happening with you and listen to people who are going through similar things. Having someone to commiserate with can be beneficial.
You also might have either short or long-term memory loss with a head injury. Either one is challenging to get past.
With short-term memory loss, you might not be able to remember what someone just told you. They can tell you about what’s happening in their life, and then, moments later, you will have lost that information.
If they tell you to pick something up from the grocery store, you won’t be able to remember what they needed. You may need to jot things down on paper or use your phone’s memo function to help you.
If you’re losing long-term memories, that can be just as bad. Perhaps you can’t remember things that happened in your childhood. Maybe you can’t remember how you and your spouse or significant other met.
That can be distressing for you and your loved ones. Your memories might return in time, or you may have to learn some techniques to try and retain whatever information you can.
Hormonal Regulation Problems
You might even have to deal with hormonal effects since certain head injuries damage your pituitary gland. This gland regulates the thyroid.
If the head injury damaged this critical gland, then it might cut back your hormone production. This could lead to an underactive thyroid, which doctors call hypothyroidism.
Head injury effects can be wide-ranging and frightening. You must get together with your doctor and other medical professionals to talk about your options. You can explain your symptoms to them, and they can tell you your best path moving forward.
A serious head injury can be the most significant challenge you will ever face. Ideally, your family and friends can help you get through it with their patience and love.