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How Brain Injuries Can Affect Families and Relationships

sad wife with husband on couch

We often hear about the physical impacts of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), such as problems with motor functions, coordination, balance, strength, and senses. However, one of the lesser-known repercussions of brain injury involves the survivor’s interpersonal relationships.

Because brain injuries can also cause emotional changes and impact one’s daily activities, they can also have an effect on an individual’s families and friends. While some relationships may be strengthened, many initially become strained. Below, we discuss various types of relationships that may be changed after a TBI and how to manage these impacts.

Significant Others

Couples often spend a significant amount of time together, and a brain injury can significantly impact or complicate this relationship. A significant other can often take on a caregiver’s role, which can blur the boundaries between someone as a “carer” and someone as a partner.

Often, partners will experience a change in roles and responsibilities. For instance, the brain injury survivor may have been the “breadwinner” of the family, but is unable to return to work. Another example would be if the homemaker is unable to physically take care of themselves or their children. Such challenges can lead to increased emotional and financial stress. While such challenges can be enduring, they can also strengthen relationships over time.


The child-parent relationship is one of the strongest bonds, so parents can be deeply affected when their child sustains a brain injury or goes through any type of hardship. They may experience feelings of guilt or pain seeing their child suffer. Additionally, parents may worry about their child’s future and whether they will be able to have a good quality of life.


Family dynamics often change when a parent is the one who sustains a brain injury. Their child, who typically is cared for by their parent, may take on more of a caregiver role to help their parent perform daily tasks. These changes can become burdensome and overwhelming, especially for younger children and adolescents. In these cases, it may be necessary to get the child into therapy where they can express how the injury has impacted them and work through those feelings.


Friends may have little understanding of how a brain injury works, which can make it more difficult for them to speak with sensitivity or be patient with the individual who sustained a brain injury.

They may even feel angry or upset at their friend for not joining social situations, when in fact, such acts can be difficult for the person who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, or PTSD. With that said, it’s important for friends of brain injury survivors to communicate that they are there to help and remain sympathetic toward their situations.

Work Colleagues

Work is an integral part of many people’s lives. Some working relationships with colleagues or employers can even turn into friendships. However, a brain injury survivor who is returning to work may still experience certain ongoing symptoms, such as social anxiety or isolation.

They may also struggle to adapt to the fast-paced working environment. It can be beneficial for brain injury survivors to communicate with colleagues and supervisors about their limitations so that work relationships are not disrupted.

We Understand the Impact of Changed Relationships

At Law Offices Of Vic Feazell, P.C., our attorneys are here to help you get your life back on track when the unexpected happens. Having worked with victims for decades, we understand that moving forward with your life after a brain injury is contingent upon obtaining compensation and getting the treatment you need.

Our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you have and guide you through the claims process from start to finish. While no law firm can guarantee results, you have our word that we will fight hard for the justice you deserve.

Contact our firm at (254) 938-6885 to speak with our caring legal team today. While our office is located in Waco, we offer services to those in Austin and the surrounding areas in Texas.