Posted on March 9, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Chris

Brain Injury Deficits: Part Eight

Many of Chris’s ongoing brain injury deficits are the classical cognitive issues one would expect to find after a TBI – memory, language, speed of information processing. Others are classic frontal lobe problems, such as the executive functioning problems all brain injury deficits, that made it so hard to get to work on time. Emotions and mood are big ongoing brain injury deficits.

We asked Chris’s Mom about her emotions as one of her brain injury deficits?

It’s a roller coaster. There’s times where she can be happy and then there’s times where, “Why me?” And then there’s times where, you know, she’ll just not care about anything. It can just be how she wakes up, you know. It can be anything.

Chris tries to explain her emotions of her  brain injury deficit:

Well, I don’t know every day is different for me. Like, like every second can be different. Like, I could be in a real crappy mood let’s say in the hour after this.

What about her energy and motivation as brain injuryn deficits:

It depends on if she has a certain thing that she wants to do, you know. If she knows it’s going to be shopping all day, she can be ready and ready to go. Maybe if it’s something she doesn’t really want to do, time isn’t a factor and she just doesn’t really care.

While her Mom corroborates that Chris had attendance problems at work, another significant frontal lobe deficit, profoundly self centered behavior seemed to contribute as well:

She’d get sidetracked, miss the bus, have to come in late, have to wait for the next bus. And it got to the point where I think her attitude took over, too. Everything should be run around her. She thinks everything should be, you know, everything should be okay because it’s Chris. And if you try to tell her that, you know, that’s not the way it always is, you know, she, she will fight you with it.

In the context of brain injury deficits of the frontal lobe, self-centered doesn’t mean selfish in the traditional sense, but more in terms of the world is only relevant as it impacts her directly.

If there’s something, if there’s somewhere you have to be, you have to constantly be telling her, “Come on, come on, come on.” She’ll say, “Well, you’ll just have to deal with it.” You know, everything is around Chris’s world. And she doesn’t like to, like if then if you try reasoning with her, saying why, you know, it has to be this way, there’s always an argument. She always has a reason for everything and it usually is centered around her reasons.

Other Brain injury Deficits

She also has trouble making decisions, problems with impulsivity and with making impulsive decisions. Her Mom:

It can be anything, what she should wear that day, what color she should have, what she should eat, you know, just, just about anything.

It drives me crazy; I’m not a shopper. She loves to shop, she loves to buy things. It drives me crazy if she’s buying something that she doesn’t need, she just, she likes to buy just to buy.

She’s impulsive. Sometimes she makes decisions that aren’t the best. There’s so many (examples) it’s just, sometimes it’s just whatever she wants when she wants it.

Does she blurt out, use impolitic speech?

If she doesn’t like something that somebody’s doing or if she doesn’t like the way somebody looks, she has no problem letting us know it, whether that person can hear it or not.


She, she thinks that she never gets to go anywhere, she never gets to do anything but really she has a very good social active life but she always thinks she’s missing out what everybody else is. She did miss out on getting to drive, so her friends drive, she can’t so, you know, she thinks that there’s always something that she should be doing or some, somewhere she should be.

Next Part Nine – Looking Forward for Chris

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447