Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is common effect of an accident–from crashing your car to falling on a slippery floor. Often, brain injuries go undetected–and untreated–for too long. When finally discovered, such injuries can be difficult to recover from.

In a previous post, we examined some of the common symptoms of a TBI. But in addition to these more easily recognized symptoms, TBI also commonly leads to emotional processing problems–which can inhibit the way sufferers can relate to the people they care about.

Feeling

People with a TBI often have difficulty feeling empathy for others. In particular, they struggle to feel what another person is feeling. This type of emotional detachment can be difficult for loved ones to understand and deal with.

Perceiving

In addition, TBI sufferers may also have an impaired ability to identify and understand emotions in others. Around 60% of TBI suffers also experience alexithymia, which is an inability to recognize their own emotions. An emotionally absent person is difficult to relate to. This can lead to further disconnect in interpersonal relationships.

Emotional processing problems are difficult for doctors to recognize, because a doctor usually doesn’t know the patient prior to the accident. Friends and family members are more likely to notice such personality changes in their loved one.

It’s important to recognize the symptoms in order to get a diagnosis–and treatment–as soon as possible. Early detection not only improves the chances of your loved one’s recovery, it can also get them greater compensation for their medical damages.