In some cases, survivors of a brain injury can appear to become very self-centred and display egocentricity that is more normally associated with a young child.
They lose the ability to see the world from another person’s perspective and have little or no self-awareness about how their behaviour is impacting on others.
‘Gavin used to be a thoughtful and considerate husband and father. We’ve made so many sacrifices since his hospital discharge but he says we have not been supportive. No matter what I’m doing he expects me to drop everything to do the smallest tasks and responds with outbursts the moment he doesn’t get his way.’
‘Before her stroke, Belinda was a great listener. But now she never takes an interest in my life any more, and gets frustrated when the kids want her attention.’
‘I gave up my job to look after Andrew full time. This has been so exhausting that I’ve arranged respite one night a fortnight to have coffee with friends for an afternoon. Every time he sulks and complains that I don’t really care about him.’
This inability to see another’s point of view can be very destructive, as the family often cannot understand how a previously caring person now lives completely for themselves and has no insight into how they are affecting the family.