Personality Changes – Lack of Motivation Following a Brain Injury
It is often the case that the injured person is not even interested in activities that had been enjoyed previously. They may have no interest in events and complain that there is nothing to do. It is more that there is nothing they are interested in doing or have the energy to pursue because fatigue is also part of the personality changes. As a result they may prefer to sit on the couch all day.
Motivation requires persistence and determination in order to be able to follow through on something. It requires self-confidence and a degree of self-esteem to realize their potential for accomplishment. And it requires effort, even if something is started, to be able to sustain the activity through to completion.
The following are ways to assist someone who lacks motivation:
– make a list of activities they may be interested in doing;
– help them initiate an activity;
– encourage their continued effort;
– assist them, if necessary;
– check off the activity when it has been completed to support their feeling of accomplishment.
Sometimes if something can be found that really interests them, it will help towards motivation. Perhaps suggest a potentially interesting activity that may appeal to them; borrow a book on various hobbies from the library or have someone talk to them that has a particularly creative hobby which may be of some interest for them. Cognitive therapy can also help but it is difficult to get and is rarely covered under medical plans.
Lack of motivation or interest can also be a result of depression which is common following a brain injury. This in turn leads to feeling tired all of the time; a general feeling of fatigue, no energy and a complete unwillingness to do anything. If depression is suspected, encourage a visit to the doctor to be properly assessed. There are medications which can help. Depression can be very serious if not properly treated. If lack of motivation is a result of depression, once the depression is treated then motivation could cease to be a problem.
Personality changes with lack of motivation being the root can cause problems in relationships and families. For those who are assisting anyone with this problem, continue to encourage and support as best as possible.