Brain Injuries and Teen Behavioral Issues: The Connection

teen brain injury

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March is brain injury awareness month. This month is all about raising awareness and educating individuals on brain injuries and the effects it can have on teens. The changes that occur when teens experience a brain injury depends on the location of the injury. It is important to know the full scope of affects that this type of injury can have on teens so that you can better help family.

Common behavioral and emotional problems associated with traumatic brain injuries include:

  • Verbal outbursts
  • Physical outbursts
  • Poor judgement and disinhibition
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Negativity
  • Intolerance
  • Apathy
  • Egocentricity
  • Rigidity
  • Inflexibility
  • Lack of empathy
  • Risky behavior
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Impacts on Mood

Mood swings can occur in teens with traumatic brain injuries. Because of the damage to the brain, emotions can become difficult to control. A person may feel that they are constantly experiencing different spouts of emotions- extreme happiness one minute and extreme devastation the next.

As a parent, it can be difficult to understand and help your teen manage these emotional/behavioral struggles. However, with support and patience you can help them relearn how to better manage their emotions. Here are some places to start:

  • Communicate with your teen’s friends, family members, coaches, and teachers about this difficulty. Let them know of ways they may be able to support your teen in overcoming their challenges.
  • Teach them to reach out to others to hold them accountable for their actions.
  • Avoid people, places, or situations that stimulate or trigger the emotional outbursts.
  • Encourage them to engage in regular exercise. It is good for both their physical and mental health. Turning to exercise can also be a very effective way to cope with emotions
  • Consider consulting a neuropsychologist or behavioral therapist to help your family come up with a plan to help your teen get control over their emotions.

Elevations Residential Treatment Center can help

Elevations RTC is a program for adolescents ages 13-18. Elevations provides an intensive, highly professional, therapeutic program. The program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to address teen’s struggles from every angle. The program includes college preparatory academics, therapeutic recreation activities, and individual, family and group psychotherapy. Coping skills, communication skills, and incorporation of healthy activities is a key part of this program. Elevations gives students the tools they need to lead healthy, happy lives. Let us help your family today!

Contact us at 801-773-0200.

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