BrainLine Military

A Service of

Turn off text only

Page Utilities


What Is Hypersexuality After Brain Injury?

What Is Hypersexuality After Brain Injury?

Comments [2]


What is hypersexuality after brain injury?

Click on any phrase to play the video at that point.
[Glenn Parkinson] Following brain injury, sometimes people exhibit hypersexuality, which is an increase in sexual behavior that can be related to a variety of different things. It can be related to disinhibitions—or the loss of that filter that we were talking about, or it can be related to an increase in their libido—an increase in their sex drive. I'm not sure that we have really good clinical information on what the relationship between the organic injury and the increase in hypersexuality is, but it is something that we observe, and it is really important to address very aggressively and directly for someone. Depending upon the severity of their injury, you would do interventions in different sorts of ways. A lot of the social skills retraining that we focus on and redirecting, and kind of taking a moment and stepping back and thinking about someone's behavior, whether it's an inappropriate comment they made or touching someone inappropriately, it's really important, particularly with sexuality, to be very aggressive about intervening on those things because they have a huge impact on someone's social relationships, and also sometimes there are legal ramifications if someone behaves inappropriately in a way that they don't have a sense of understanding that it's inappropriate. That is something that is specific to brain injury.

show transcriptShow transcript | Print transcript

Click here to see other video Q&As with Glenn Parkinson.

Click here to return to our BrainLine Military Ask the Expert feature.


Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Erica Queen, BrainLine.

Glenn W. Parkinson, MSW, MAGlenn W. Parkinson, MSW, MA, Glenn Parkinson, MSW, MA works as the psychotherapist on the Traumatic Brain Injury service at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. She works with active duty and retired military personnel and their families specializing in combat-related injuries.

The contents of BrainLine Military (the “Web Site”), such as text, graphics, images, information obtained from the Web Site’s licensors and/or consultants, and other material contained on the Web Site (collectively, the “Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for medical, legal, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. The Web Site does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Web Site. Reliance on any information provided by the Web Site or by employees, volunteers or contractors or others associated with the Web Site and/or other visitors to the Web Site is solely at your own risk.

Comments [2]

Alan, I am caregiver for a good man who was in a bad accident 27 years ago. Every day, I understand more and more about his injury and it's affects...and at the same time less and less. Sounds contradictory...tbi is pretty much that. I sometimes say that I wish i could be in his brain for 5 minutes.  I say 5 minutes because I think 6 would be more than i could handle.  He recently had a book of his writings published. It's called, appropriately, "The Stranger Inside of Me". It is bold and blunt and honest and raw...feelings that lots of us wouldn't want to admit to. He was a very successful entreprenuer. But, now feels like he's only a fraction of the man he was because the 'stranger' took over his life.I am sorry for your accident. Truly.


Jun 2nd, 2014 4:20pm

thank you for the article it's another drop in the bucket of my understanding of my own TBI. The leading role my limbic region plays in my life; my own once out of control emotional reactionary existence. I was in a mental hospital; I had a nervous breakdown; depression was suffocating me.

I was in a coma; how long? I'm asked repeatedly. I presume, so I illuminate the length, is less important than how deep? The Glasgow Coma Scale, I was admitted in was a 5; the next day it dropped to a four on the GCS.

I was going deeper into an  already deep coma. As you know but readers may not be familiar with the GCS. Brain waves, brain activity is measured starting at 16, decelerating to 3, a 16 is the lightest coma someone can be in; a 3 is the deepest and lower than a 3 is considered  brain dead. from a 5 to a four in 24 hours was not a good prognosis my doctors were looking forward to telling my mom. My post coma life is really the beginning, middle living, yet to be written promises realized.

My hyper sexuality energized by those deep bruises on my mind constantly put my life in danger. Between my brain deficits, lack of inhibition, my disinhibition, impulsivity, I had no fight or flight instinct we as human beings all have; it's a  need to survive, to stay alive another day.  I only had one response when confronted physically by someone. Kill or be killed. Flight never entered my nostrils. 

My sexual life would make a whore blush. I used to be an actor making movies and doing TV; it's a living; but it was never my passion. I have found my passion, or actually my passion found me through a life threatening car accident that almost killed me. 

I, a trapped animal in Hollywood where wild know's no bounds. I was dying a daily humdrum attrition of my specialness; like Chinese water torture, the carbon copies of personalities, the deluge of self promotion rallies, freed me from a life of mediocrity through a brain injury... who would have thunk it. 

Do you know where I could get more information about the brain and the limbic region and also the thalamus glands. Thanks for your time. sincerely Alan

Apr 16th, 2014 12:08am


BrainLine Footer

Javascript is disabled. Please be aware that some parts of the site may not function as expected!