When someone suffers from a brain injury, he or she goes through a variety of different emotions. Many of the emotions of the victim are shared by the family members who are close the victim. While it is possible that not everyone who has a brain injury will have all of these emotions, it is very likely that they will. Knowing about the seven emotions can help people prepare. They also show just how complex it can be to treat every aspect of a brain injury.
Confusion, denial and anger or guilt are often the first three emotions a person will feel. The confusion usually occurs before a diagnosis is made. Denial usually occurs when the diagnosis is made. Anger and guilt usually follow closely behind denial. Anger is often directed toward the doctor who made the diagnosis and the family who is close to the victim. Guilt occurs when the victim starts to blame himself or herself for the injury.
Some victims may feel a sense of hope for a cure. This can lead to problems with continuity of care because some victims will start to doctor shop in an effort to find a miracle. Oftentimes, this is also associated with searches for a cure.
Depression, acceptance and understanding are the final emotions that may be felt. Depression is a sign that acceptance of the limitations from the injury is on the way; however, depression is unhealthy and should be closely monitored. When the victim accepts the facts surrounding the injury, treatment and prognosis, progress can be made toward the treatment plan. Understanding occurs after the acceptance. This is when the victim finds the strength to cope with life as he or she is able.
Source: Brain Injury Alliance Utah, “Emotional Stages,” accessed May. 01, 2015