Decision-making ranges from minor decisions, such as what to have for dinner, to major life-changing ones, such as changing careers. It involves many different cognitive functions working together:
- long-term memory (how I have dealt with these situations in the past?)
- working memory (holding information in mind and thinking things through)
- emotion (how important is this decision to me, and how will the possible outcomes make me feel?).
A traumatic brain injury or other brain disorder can disrupt the complex process of decision-making. People are affected in different ways and some find seemingly simple decisions almost impossible, while others become impulsive, making hasty decisions without thinking them through.
Poor judgement in relationships, with money, or in business, can have devastating consequences for the individual and their family. We all have difficulty making decisions from time to time, but brain injury can make this much more frequent.