Awareness is the conscious perception of both self and outside experiences that involve self. Awareness involves the ability to be introspective and interpret clues that accurately depict reality. Injury to certain parts of the brain sometimes results in impaired awareness-which means that the person's perception of reality is somewhat skewed.
Recent research has shown that people who experience impaired awareness after a traumatic brain injury are less likely to report depression. In addition, people with impaired awareness will also reported better memory and satisfaction with life. Researchers believe that these self-reports of better mood and greater satisfaction may be a result of having an inaccurate understanding of their abilities and life changes. Other studies have found that when a person recovers awareness after injury, the risk of developing depression becomes greater as the person begins to realize the extent of their disabilities or circumstances.
Family members and clinicians should be aware of the relationship between impaired awareness and mood during the recovery from a brain injury. They can structure not only a program for addressing impairment in awareness, but they can also prepare for the difficulties TBI survivors may face as they become increasingly aware of their challenges.
Goverover Y & Chiaravalloti N. The impact of self-awareness and depression on subjective reports of memory, quality of life, and satisfaction with life following TBI. Brain Injury. (February 2014).