How brain injury affects friendships

Brain injury can cause changes in the way a person thinks, feels and behaves and can also affect their physical ability. This can sometimes affect the relationships they have with their friends. Many friends will not know what a brain injury is and how it can affect someone, and therefore may not be able to understand how and why their friend has changed.

Friends might also assume that once the survivor is out of hospital, they will be ‘back to normal’. However, for many survivors the emotional, cognitive and behavioural effects only become noticeable once they have returned home. The survivor might need time to adjust to their new circumstances, and friends might need to adjust accordingly as well. Learning about the effects of brain injury and identifying ways of offering support can help friends during this period of adjustment.

Continuing support and care from friends can also help the survivor to feel more positive about themselves and their circumstances, which can have a positive impact on their overall recovery and general well-being. In turn, this can have a positive impact on the friendship and it can become possible to move forward creating new memories together. 

Explore the links below to find out more, and you can download our factsheets for friends and colleagues in the related resources section. 

My story

"You realise who your real friends are"

After having a stroke at the age of 22, Ross Davies found other people did not consider the hidden effects of his brain injury.

A recent trip to London with friends turned into a nightmare when they didn't consider the side-effects of his brain injury that he has to live with every day.

Read story