Skip to main content
• Social Media: Connect with UsAccessibility  |  About  |  Contact  |  Privacy  |  Terms

Traumatic Brain Injuries and Dependencies

  • Published: 2009-08-26 (Revised/Updated 2012-09-21) : Sylvia Behnish.
  • Synopsis: Following a traumatic brain injury the survivor may become dependent upon those close to them.

Main Document

Following a traumatic brain injury, the survivor may become dependent upon those close to them. These dependencies may be emotional in nature or based on a substance abuse. Whatever dependency is involved, it can lead to difficulties in recovering from the injury.

Some of the emotional problems that can lead to dependency are;

All of these things can lead to feelings of powerlessness. And for this reason they will often become emotionally dependent upon someone close to them. There is another type of dependency called learned helplessness or learned dependency which will sometimes come about when someone helps beyond the point where help is actually needed.

With frontal lobe injuries there may also be a difference in emotional intelligence post-injury versus pre-injury.

This is quite different from intellectual intelligence. Emotional intelligence relates to emotional self-awareness, the ability to recognize others' emotions, feelings of independence, and the ability to get along with others. Difficulty in these areas can lead to dependency on others, particularly a caregiver.

Another dependency may be that of substance abuse.

Sixty-seven percent of those with brain injuries have a history of substance abuse pre-injury and fifty percent of those will return to using alcohol following their injury. However, substance abuse can often be a result of boredom and loneliness also. With the use of alcohol and drugs after a brain injury, there is an increased risk of seizures as well as the risk of sustaining further brain injuries.

But there are many others who will fight for their independence.

i.e.: they will drive before they have been given the 'go ahead' to drive; will refuse to go to therapy appointments; will feel increased anger if they are personally, socially or financially limited, as well as if they are deprived of privacy. Also those who need help physically may resent the help they receive if they think they should be able to do it themselves.

Regardless of whether they have become dependent or are fighting for their independence, it is important to remember that there are no two brain injuries that are the same and each person will react differently to their circumstances.

Reference: Sylvia Behnish has published her first non-fiction book entitled "Roller Coaster Ride With Brain Injury (For Loved Ones)" which tells of their journey during the first year following her partner's motorcycle accident. She has also had numerous articles published in magazines and newspapers in both Canada and the United States.

To order "Roller Coaster Ride With Brain Injury (For Loved Ones)" go to:

Similar Topics

1 - How the NFL Came to Shape the Concussion Issue That Plagued It - University of Michigan.
2 - Playing Football Among Leading Causes of Concussion - Dr. Robert Clark, DC - Health First Chiropractic.
3 - Studies Uncover Long-term Effects of TBI - Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
4 - ADHD Drug Plus Therapy Improves Cognitive Outcomes In TBI Patients - Indiana University.
5 - Canadian Government National Guidelines for Concussion Management - Public Health Agency of Canada.
From our Traumatic Brain Injury section - Full List (58 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.

Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.

Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.

List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.

Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.

1 - wheelAIR Innovative New Cooling Wheelchair Backrest Wins Support on Dragons Den
2 - DIVAS Rule the Runway at The Woodlands
3 - Ultra-thin Optical Fibers Provide Way to Print 3D Microstructures
4 - Brain Imaging Predicts Language Learning in Deaf Children
5 - Asthma Costs US Economy Over $80 Billion a Year


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.