Miserable minority: emotional risk factors that influence the outcome of a mild traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 1996 Aug;10(8):551-65. doi: 10.1080/026990596124124.


Emotional risk factors are explored in four case studies, each of whom had sustained a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Selected pre-existing personality traits that compounded the symptom presentation included over-achievement, dependency, grandiosity and borderline personality traits. Premorbid risk factors are described and their influence on co-morbid and post-morbid difficulties is discussed. We also touched upon the therapeutic issues involved in our cases. General treatment considerations are highlighted for dealing with grandiosity, narcissistic features and borderline traits. Over-achievement and perfectionism are discussed in the context of providing treatment for stress management. Finally, the effect of pre-existing emotional trauma combined with the MTBI is discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology*
  • Defense Mechanisms
  • Female
  • Head Injuries, Closed / diagnosis
  • Head Injuries, Closed / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Care Team
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Role*
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology