I began by writing a few words, then a few sentences, and then, whole paragraphs. The more I wrote, the better I felt. I wanted, no — I needed to explain what it felt like inside the lonely head of a person with a brain injury and how the world looked.
A brain injury can result in difficulty controlling emotions. Anger and irritability are comonly reported by survivors, families and caregivers among the most difficult changes to live with and manage. Anger can damage personal relationships with family, alienate friends, disrupt work, and contribute to depression. These blogs on anger after brain injury discuss the effects of anger and provide information and support.
Changes in behavior after a brain injury are common and particularly stressful for families and caregivers. “Why does he act that way? What can we do? She’s like a different person.” These are just a few comments repeatedly heard by clinicians when talking with families and caregivers. It’s not only the person with the brain injury who has changed. Family members now find they have to change their expectations and about the survivor’s behavior. They also learn to change how they respond to these new and often frustrating and challenging behaviors that they see at home and out in the community.
The anger of the TBI caregiver is too often ignored by family, friends and even professionals. While clinicians focus on helping the person with a brain injury whose ability to control anger has been affected, who helps the TBI caregiver whose anger is often not even acknowledged. Janet Cromer explores why it is important to recognize that this anger is real and gives strategies for TBI caregivers to manage that anger. By recognizing what trigger TBI caregiver anger, she helps caregivers respond with positive strategies.
Family and caregivers often complain of a survivor’s anger after a traumatic brain injury. They say the person is hard to get along with and that affects their relationships. Mike Strand gives his view as a person with a brain injury that anger is about more than emotions and brain trauma. It’s also about communication and cognition. He talks about how he reacts when others accuse him of being angry and describes both his thought process and emotional reactions. This blog gives insights into what’s behind the behavior that is so easily termed “anger’ by caregivers and family members.
Changes in a family member’s mood, emotions, and personality after a brain injury can be frustrating and puzzling for spouses, children and parents. But increased irritability and aggression after a brain injury can disrupt marriages, jeopardize employment, and increase conflicts and stress at home. Dr. Flora Hammond at Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana is conducting research that is giving a better understanding of irritability and aggression after brain injury and is developing more effective treatment with medication.
Last week we talked about how to figure out what causes or triggers an angry response. Now let’s get into how to set up and use a behavior plan. I’ve also included important points to keep the survivor and family safe.
Brain injury can cause many changes in areas of the brain that affect a person’s ability to express and regulate emotions and behavior. When family caregivers of persons who have a brain injury get together in a support group, one of their most pressing concerns is how to understand and help manage anger and agitation at home. Sometimes we’re even reluctant to admit how serious the problem is to friends or professionals.
There is an overlap between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and violence which is an important yet little understood problem. The exact number of violence-related TBIs each year is not known, but the CDC estimates 11% of TBI deaths, hospitalizations and emergency room visits combined are related to assaults.