Kinds of Anger after Brain Injury
Anger is a very common problem after brain injuries. When someone with a brain injury has a problem with anger, there are usually several causes acting in combination. Some people are angry about the injury or problems that may have come with it, such as disabilities and loss of job, friends, money and control over one’s life. Some people were angry people before their injuries and still have that problem. People who have always been angry may need psychotherapy to help them learn to cope, and in some cases medication is required. (In our experience, people unfamiliar with the person or with brain injury are often too quick to assume that personality alone is to blame.) But many people also develop impulsive anger as a direct effect of the damage to the brain. In other words, the parts of the brain that normally inhibit angry feelings and behavior have been damaged and do not do their jobs as well. This means that the person’s anger threshold is lowered so that he or she becomes angry more easily and more intensely. We can tell that this impulsive anger is directly due to the brain injury when:
- The anger begins with the brain injury or is made much worse by it
- Angry feelings come and go relatively suddenly
- Anger episodes may be in response to minor events
- The person having the angry episodes is surprised and embarrassed or distressed by them
- The anger is made worse by physiological stress such as fatigue, pain or low blood sugar
This was the problem Joe had. Joe was a quiet man, an accountant; active in his church and an assistant little league coach. He never drank or used street drugs; he was healthy; and he had never been in a fight or in trouble with the law. He was well liked in the community. His wife said that he rarely got angry, and when he did he usually sulked. When his car was hit by a drunk driver and Joe hit his head on the window, all that changed. He had been knocked out for five minutes but after he was checked out at the Emergency Room they sent him home. He went back to work a week later but had trouble concentrating and remembering. Worse, he started yelling at his wife and children, often for little things like laughing loudly at the TV. One day at work, he broke a computer keyboard by hitting it with a stapler; and he sometimes tore up papers he was working on. After each of these episodes, he would be very embarrassed and apologetic. He came for help after loudly cursing at his daughter because she was playing with her program at a Wednesday evening church service.
With Joe, it was clear that he was having impulsive anger resulting from his head injury. When other more familiar causes of anger are also present, such as difficult personality, alcohol abuse, or anger at the injury itself, the impulsive anger resulting directly from the brain injury can get overlooked. It is important to try to identify and treat that part of the anger too.
Dealing with Impulsive Anger Resulting from Brain Injury
When a person with a brain injury first wakes up from a coma, they are usually disoriented and confused and often they are agitated. They do not understand what is going on around them, and they are not truly responsible for their own actions. It is up to the people taking care of then to keep them safe, even if this means restraining them or using medications when absolutely necessary. As they recover, they gradually come to be able to control their actions. Their staff and families can then gradually teach them about the best ways to manage their angry feelings. Because a person with a brain injury's “anger thresholds” or “flashpoints” have been lowered, they need to relearn how to manage the changed reactions. They need emotional rehabilitation in addition to physical and cognitive rehabilitation.
Understanding the Anger
The brain injury survivor is, in some ways, a different person. What makes him or her angry may be different. We need to learn what those things are. Here are some common factors that contribute to anger after brain injury.
- High noise or activity level
- Unexpected events
- Lack of structure
- Fear or anxiety
- Embarrassment, shame or guilt
- Discovery or confrontation of problems
- Cognitive impairments – especially memory deficits and confabulation (remembering things that did not happen)
- Communication impairments
- Rigid thinking
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Medications (levels low or high?)
- Alcohol or drugs
Anger Warning Signs
- Loud high voice
- Name calling
- Making fists
- Increased movement and fidgeting
- Angry face
- Moving towards the object of anger
- Breaking things
- Throwing things
- Threatening people
- Searching for or picking up weapons
- Hitting, kicking and other forms of violence
- Fast breathing
- Fast heart
- Tense muscles
- Flushed face
- Bulging eyes
- Fantasies of doing any of the speech or behavioral signs
- Negative thoughts about others
- Feelings of frustration
- Feelings of fear or anxiety
- Feelings of embarrassment, shame or guilt
- Feelings of hurt
These strategies are for staff and families to use when the person with brain injury is too confused to be responsible for his or her actions. It is important for staff and families to remember during this time that the anger is due to the injury, and they should not take it personally.
- Make the environment safe
- Remove potential weapons
- Keep alcohol and drugs inaccessible
- Keep vehicles and dangerous tools inaccessible
- Regulate Level of Stimulation
- Some need to avoid over stimulation
- Some need to be kept busy and distracted
- Provide Appropriate Level of Supervision
- Provide the least restrictive environment possible
- Provide Reorientation as Needed
- Much of the anger in an agitated confused and disoriented person can come from misperceiving and misunderstanding the situation
- Staff and families should frequently remind the person of where they are, what is happening and why
- Leave the person alone for a short period of time if this can be done safely. As you leave, tell them briefly what you are doing and why. “You are beginning to get upset. We are going to leave you alone for a few minutes so you can calm down.”
- Change the subject, the focus of activity or the location
- Use a concrete object as a focus when possible
- Reorient and Reassure
- Remind the person of where they are, what is going on and why
- Try to clear up misunderstandings when this can be done without renewing argument
- Direct the person in activities that may reduce agitation, such as guided relaxation
These strategies are to be phased in when the brain injury survivor has recovered enough learning abilities and awareness to begin to cooperate in learning to control anger.
“Back Off, Calm Down, Try Again”
Because the impulsive anger resulting from brain injury often comes and goes suddenly, an effective way to deal with it is for the angry person to back off, calm down and try again. This strategy can be phrased in the individual’s own words or whatever expression is comfortable such as “retreat, relax, return” or “take a break” or “time out”.
When warning signs appear, the person should leave the situation and go to a safe place. Others will have to cue him or her to leave. If the person will not leave, the other people present should leave instead, if possible. Practicing backing off when not angry (like a fire drill) will help this go more smoothly when it is really needed.
When the person has backed off to a safe place, he or she should work on claming down. Many techniques can be used to calm down including:
- deep breathing
- soft music
- closed eyes
- physical exercise
Preparing to Return
Once calm, the person may need to rethink the situation and prepare to return.
Reviewing a list of questions is a possible preparation;
- Do I need to apologize?
- Do I need to explain why I left?
- Do I need to tell anyone my feelings?
- What can I do to avoid this next time?
Here are some statements to encourage rethinking the situation;
- “I don’t hate my mother; I’m just angry with her”
- “Maybe she had a point I should listen to”
- “He’s not wrong, we just disagree”
When the person returns from backing off and calming down he or she may need to
- talk through the issue,
- explain the backing off and feelings
- resume what he or she was doing.
Once a person has learned to back off, calm down and try again successfully, he or she can work on calming down in the situation without leaving.
Anger Cue Cards
Anger cue cards can be used to remind the brain injury survivor of their warning signs such as Loud Voice, Tense Muscles, Confusion, or Thoughts of Hitting. These cards should be carried by the person with a brain injury and optional copies can be placed where anger incidents often happen or where backing off takes place.
A Back Off card might say:
- “I’m feeling angry, I need to back off”
- Leave the room
- Breathe deeply
- Relax muscles.
Angry Reactions to Brain Injury
Anger at the cause of injury: The victim of an injury may be angry at the cause of the injury such as a drunk driver, an assailant, a corporation or a government. Such people often need help finding effective and satisfying channels for their anger. Often, they can talk this out with a trusted friend or family member.
It is part of human nature to grieve when we lose something, not just when someone dies, but also when we suffer an injury or illness. We try to find reasons for our losses. One part of a grief reaction is anger at what we think caused it. This anger can also get displaced onto any handy target. People can work through these reactions by talking out their feelings. This is such a human experience that it usually does not require a psychologist, just a trusted and understanding person. However, poor memory or judgment or emotional or personality problems can complicate grief reactions and psychotherapy may be needed.
When frustration contributes to angry reactions, the person needs to be trying easier things. Specific preparation can also be given before difficult tasks. For example, “Now it’s time to go shopping. I know this is sometimes frustrating for you. How will you know if you are starting to get frustrated, and what will you do about it?”
Normal, Legitimate Anger
People with brain injury still have legitimate reasons to get angry. If their legitimate anger is discounted, ignored or “treated”, they may get angrier. If they have expressed their anger inappropriately, their angry actions should be dealt with separately from their legitimate complaint. They should not get their way just because they made a fuss, but the complaint should not be ignored.
Brain injury survivors often have impaired judgment which can contribute to anger problems. Cognitive rehabilitation for judgment can help. People with these difficulties need to check their judgments with caregivers or people they trust. Alcohol and drugs can contribute to anger problems. The clearest solution is abstinence but abuse programs or counseling may be needed. Not taking prescribed medications can also contribute to anger problems. The doctor should be told if the medications have not been taken as directed and if there have been any problems.
Anger is a common problem following brain injury. It has many causes, and there are many solutions to be tried. The rehabilitation team, the family and friends and the brain injury survivor can all work together to understand and manage the problem to help the person with brain injury to work towards recovering self control.
Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
What if the relatives. Aunties are the ones or the cause of my super anger that causes my brain aneurysm .. are they punishabke by law? Is it a crime? Because they damage my brain ruined my life my health. The long term abused. Thanks for the answer I'll wait.
Thoughtcriminal62 replied on Permalink
I wish you would put a link for each state or just 1 good link for us TBI survivors. I'm angry, I was hit by a texting teen and lost my 3 figure salary, I've lost everything I loved and cherished. People take advantage of us survivors, not so much family but scammers. I so angry and it's 10 years later. I think I'm so angry because I didn't know what was happening to me or my lovely animals I had on my lovely farm. I was not an angry person pre July 2012 - I'm livid now, scraping by when I worked hard for what I had, I paid for my own college and busted my but to be an overachiever and now I can think and I am greatful for neuroplasticity but have such extreme hatred towards the Ohio system that failed me as I was on-the-job when I got my TBI and being in executive management with 4 degrees didn't help me with squat. Well, I'm still greatful for my TBI doctor Mysiw.
sshadeware replied on Permalink
You can search for resources by state here: Resource Directory | BrainLine
Chuck replied on Permalink
I wish this info had been around 30 years ago. It may have kept my parents from locking me away 2 times, where I was drugged, assaulted & locked in short term solitary.
D replied on Permalink
I'm just adding this as a sibling to a TBI survivor. I was pretty depressed today. My brother yelled at me and kicked me out of his house yesterday because I made a joke. But, he didn't see it like that. He has told me I was trying to attack him and make him feel bad. Since then, he has threatened to destroy my house and I handled it horribly. I fought with him, instead of just leaving and telling him I'd talk to him in a few days. I found this site after the fight and have been reading other people's stories. It does help.
Reflecting now, I think I was too naive. After the accident, we were given pamphlets about what to expect, including anger issues, and I brushed it off, thinking that my brother was fine once he was able to drive and live his life again. Then I looked the other way when stories started cropping up about him getting kicked off a houseboat during a party and losing a close friend; a partner leaving him due to yelling; almost getting in a fist fight; and finally a drunken confession from him, that he was "pissing his life away" with alcohol.
Again, I just wanted to believe that he was fine. That's why I'm in shock and depression today. It's sinking in that he's not fine. The incident yesterday has finally opened my eyes to the situation.
I don't want to leave him alone, but I do want him to feel like he has space. At the same time, I'm grappling with the trust we shared being completely smashed. I want to blame others for not telling me, but, ultimately, I know I wouldn't have listened. Feels good to just write this out.
What gives me hope is the potential to find the right distance. Your stories have inspired me to keep working on it. Pull back for my own sanity but not too far for his. Thankfully, my mother lives nearby and is able to help as well.
To the TBI'ers and their close ones, I'm with you, out here. I'm hoping you can find the right distance.
Many thanks for sharing!
Anonymous replied on Permalink
My 32 yr old son had a TBI after being knocked of his push bike by a artic milk tanker at first he was not given much chance of survival he was in a coma for around month at one point when taken of the ventilator his lungs collapse and he was starved of oxygen for 18 mins he was a alcoholic befor accident so in some ways this accident was a god send as he no s not to drink now he spent 11 months in hospital and rehab and came home to live with me (mum) at first it was not to bad he was nice to be around but it's nearly been a yr now he has short and long term memory cognitive damage speech he muddles struggles with words and objects he has damage to the perifral vision and center vision of one eye he thinks he s ok will not except what s changed but he has become more and more eager to pick arguments at first it was maybe once a fortnight now it s like every other day telling me he s ok and can do what he likes threating to wander of when I'm asleep so I hardly sleep he is not getting any rehab we done speech therapy but that's now stopped he does not have a a doctor I can turn to for this behaviour as he had one for a few months a locom one but she gone and no one else has picked him up these behaviours are destroying us and they just appear out of no where he says I'm 32 and hecan do what he wants but it's like a child having a paddy I just don't no what to do
Maria replied on Permalink
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Anonymous replied on Permalink
I had a TBI April/07 I fell out of a Tree, I've Noticed about 5 years ago I started getting Depressed & over the last couple years Anger & also noticed I'm Stuttering. Turned into a Person I don't Enjoy who I've become.
Carol replied on Permalink
I’m at wits end. My daughter 47 yrs old picked up COVID in May 2020.Currently acts like 4 years old…. She was in a coma for days, ventilator too. They had to finally take ventilator off, they claim she had a stroke. After days in ICU she slowly came out of the coma. She gradually began talking, and feeding herself, walking was difficult but after time she was walking. She tested positive for Covid for 2 months. She was to be transferred to a Rehabilitation facility but needed 2 Negative Covid Test results. Eventually she was Negative….She progressed fairly well at Rehab and Medicaid wouldn’t authorize anymore time there.
FAST FORWARD..About 10 months later she resided in a Neuro Residence. 24/7 care. She needed a lot of help showering, dressing. She is incontinent…She can feed herself but pretty messy. She has no short term memory, some long term.
She began displaying agitation, saying inappropriate things and that eventually led to aggressiveness and getting physical. She lives in another state than me, I would fly in to visit her every couple of months,,,she was always so happy to see me.
Due to the aggressive behavior she was admitted to the psychiatric unit of the nearby hospital….It’s been 3 months she’s been in there.
I was awarded her Guardian,, there is no way she can make any decisions or even live by herself. Again she needs 24/7 care.
I found a home for her to have a bedroom in the city I live. I did see the home, my daughter may not be a good fit as she is very unpredictable and needs constant watching.The other 2 patients do not. I was making plans transporting here by me..
Now my daughter rarely speaks to me. She sounds angry and keeps saying she hates me, this is breaking my heart. I also notice that she is sleeping a lot…as I call the hospital around 3 x a day.. .There has been no medication change.
The hospital doesn’t give me her psychiatrist’s phone number, they arrange the doctor to call me, has only been 2x I spoke with her. The case manager is practically useless, all she says is..my daughter has good days and bad days..Caseworker also told me that my daughter should have never come out of the coma!! That is not something a mother doesn’t wants to hear!!!
Now…Mother here totally confused as to what to do….My daughter’s brain is so damaged but I keep praying..
Needless to say, I’m not doing well, no sleeping..my mind never stops..
Any suggestions would surely help..Thank you!
pooja replied on Permalink
hlo mam , how r u , how is ur daughter . actually my brother is suffering from the same condition which you had mentioned .
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Seeking advice. My neighbour has acted strange towards me since moving in - over the past 3 days things have escalated to me calling the police due to a DEATH THREAT. They came, spoke to him, and naturally all was given ‘benefit of the doubt’ to him claiming TBI.
Thing is, I’m a 25 year old woman living alone across the hallway from him. If he can’t control his anger to the extent of harassing me, and threatening a ‘big bloody mess’ upon me - how am I supposed to feel safe? I cope with ptsd, adhd, and bipolar disorder, but have done so much life work to understand the CBT triangle etc I know going through the motions of writing threats, taping them to a door and all of it is a process in which he had MANY chances to rationalize.
I am fearful of my safety.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
I had a TBI and small hemorrhage in 2015. Before my accident, I did get angry from time to time but everyone does at some point if provoked. Since the accident I find that my tolerance for issues is so limited and I become angry so much more easily. I speak my mind, am very blunt but do not take crap from anyone. I find myself cursing under my breath which I never did before in fact, I never swore because it disgusted me. To make things worse, it seems that everything in my life never goes the way I believe it should and I make a big deal out of the smallest things. I’ve gained more enemies than friends in fact, I only have a couple of friends and they knew me before my accident and who I really was, the old me. I have lost the feeling of happiness. I can’t remember the last time I cried or felt any real emotion. I’m having my first grandchild in Oct and I can’t even feel excited though I do try. I feel as though everyone is against me and make up things in my head. I felt completely lost at both of my children’s weddings and felt invisible. Brain injuries are invisible so no one knows I feel alone and am suffering, only me.
Andrew replied on Permalink
Hello, I just read your comment and it immediately made me want to reach out to you and say hi. I hit my head twice in 2011. I've always had depression and anxiety, but since I hit my head, I have this perpetual anger that makes me heavily angry and inward. I'm extremely sweet and pleasant on the outside, but that's only up front for people that don't know me to well. I've really tried to get professional help and there's not much help that I know of. Taking Adderall can help. My psychiatrist tried me on it, but I didn't want to be on a heavy drug. One thing that does help me, is that you have to physically tell your brain that you are ok. You have to separate all the good things going on around you in reality and write them down or saying to yourself until you get a change in head that relieves you from the anger. It's like a bad gear you can't get out of. I tell myself that things are ok, I'm ok, it's just the TBI messing with me, but I'm ok. This problem is tough, but you and I deserve to be happy again. My prayers to you!!
Kathleen replied on Permalink
My son had suffered from a TBI at the age of 11 years old. He is now a 30 year old depressed, angry and sweet man. The quick emotional changes throughout his life did start after his accident, but he lives with his girlfriend now and trying to keep him focused from afar is difficult. We try to educate his girlfriend, but understandable it is difficult to understand if it is related to a head injury which occurred 20 years earlier. Any suggestions? Can he still get help? Plus my son is a Type 1 Diabetic with an hearing impairment; that alone may bring some anger and misunderstanding in the work force.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
I'm so grateful for finding this site. My husband fainted and collapsed onto his head a week ago. He has suffered a severe concussion. This is not his first, though it has been over 25 years since he's had one (he says), he's had many in the past from sports and martial arts. He is also a former Marine. Who knows how many concussions he's suffered. We are a week into this and he has become very angry. Yells, blames my family for me being weak stating I cannot take his injury and that I'm weak and a "pussy". He yells at the children and blows up. My son looked terrified of him yesterday and I am starting to become very worried. Has he changed? Is this just side effects from the concussion or is this permanent? I feel like I need a support group. :(
Anonymous replied on Permalink
so many revealing, helpful stories. (Reader feedback is often, very often, the most honest, helpful). Sad that it takes elite athletes (Eric Lindros, Joe Murphy) to shine a light on this long neglected topic. "Concussion is the New Autism" could be a mantra. Exploding epidemic right under our noses, medicine is clueless why. Patients need to take matters into their own hands. Try...Share....Explore. What other choices do we have? Allow me to suggest LDN. SO many astonishing stories....all patient driven. Never Give Up hope.
Alicia replied on Permalink
My boyfriend suffers from a closed brain injury due to being in the military. He often gets angry at his teenage daughters, yells, screams, uses profanity, puts them down and sometimes turns into physical abuse. I am scared that when this happens I wont be able to control it and may have to call for help. I am also scare that he might lash out at me. I wish this was easier to deal with. He refuses to get therapy.
Michael D Cannon replied on Permalink
I have a CTE from a car accident. My mother ended up having to issue an emergency petition after a relapse. It sounds harsh, but it could save your life and his. I was an adult so if you have residency at the address and he is having difficulties then I would suggest this and explain to your local sheriff's office the condition he is under. Since he is military he should be able to have assistance from his injuries. God Bless and wish him and the rest of you the best!
Anonymous replied on Permalink
I understand your concern and fear. My sister won’t get help, but we don’t know her threshold.. we fear for our physical safety. As badly as that makes me feel, there is no other choice. It is so sad for everyone. But please be safe and keep loved ones safe
Poppy replied on Permalink
My daughter had neurosurgery and her anger has been violent with swearing since! I didn’t know other people were going through this too! It’s hard to get help for her. She can get very dangerous
Anonymous replied on Permalink
44 years ago my sister was in a bad car accident. She suffered severe traumatic brain injury. She developed spinal meningitis and had a craniotomy. The doctor said she would likely have angry periods. She and I used to be close. She has serious anger issues and will not acknowledge it is due to her accident. Her husband divorced her after 20 years because of her bizarre behavior. It is EXTREME. Her children don’t want anything to do with her. She had a boyfriend who called off their relationship after 6 months. She spray painted his car. He is an avid bike rider. She tried to run him off the road. We have no other siblings and our parents have passed. I have tried to have a relationship with her. But if I do one thing she doesn’t like, she begins threatening me. She got angry with me so she wrote my 30 year old daughter an email and told her my daughter’s husband was cheating on her. He wasn’t. My daughter has two small children. My sister told me she did it because I deserved it for crossing her. She likened it to waking a sleeping lion. I love my sister because she is my sister. But I can not have her in my life. My children and my husband don’t deserve her wrath. I honestly can’t take it any more and we have no relationship. I have a great relationship with her children, my niece and nephew. But they have told me I have no idea what they went through growing up with her. I read all these stories and admire those who can stick by their injured loved one. It is not their fault. In my case everyone had to back away for their own well being and safety
debra cloos replied on Permalink
There is so little good, user friendly information about living with - or around someone -with a long term brain injury. My husband suffered a moderate head injury in a bad car accident when he was 21. I met and married him when he was 26. Although I had heard about this accident that left him with a few physical scars, I had no idea at that time how this accident's fallout would go on to define our lives and the lives of our children. Three years into our marriage I began to research head injury and its long term implications. It was reaffirming to realize that a lot of his volatile behavior was related to his brain injury but it didn't make living with him any easier. I'm sure your friendship with your sister's children will be priceless. They will enjoy hearing stories about their mother before her accident. Unfortunately, as my husband ages (he is now 64) his behavior and problems have become much worse. I always get people and family telling me that I am a saint. Well, I am NOT a saint. I live with a head injured spouse. Best of luck to you and don't blame yourself for not being able to handle your sister.
Paul D replied on Permalink
THANK GOD for this page! ... It's SO HELPFULL to know you're not alone! I was smacked on the Head by a Bus whilst Cycling a few years ago. There is NO HELP in London for Mental Health. I got used to the Depression, the Anxiety, the Panic Attacks, and wonders of Epileptic Seizures. But I couldn't build a system to deal with the Temper (which didn't appear for Years) It's made me lose my Wife & Twins, and my lifelong Career in Retail, and I do not have a clue how to stop it? eg: I walked into Church this afternoon, I looked for a Bench to sit down. A Lady came walking towards me and asked me nicely to 'wash & disinfect' my hands at the table nearby because of COVID19 ... I raised my voice "I came here to speak to The Big Guy! not play with my fingers!" ... I stormed out. I didn't get to say my Prayers, and I've been beating myself up about it, for 11 hours so far!!! GIMME A MAGIC PILL PLEASE? or I'll have to hope I get COVID19!
Andrew replied on Permalink
Hello, I'm so sorry for what you go through. I have the same problem. My psychiatrist explained it to me as if you have a broken gear/stick shift that you can't get out of, Perpetual anger. I try telling myself that everything is ok, even when it's not. I sometimes write down that things are good even when they're horrible. There's a small technique I learned In DBT called half-smiling. You lightly smile and it deceives your brain into thinking you're ok. It might seem silly, but sometimes, it helps me. My heart and prayer are with you, be strong!
Joanna replied on Permalink
I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to you and the psychical and mental changes you've had to deal with. I suffered from a head injury and PTSD about twelve years ago. My character totally changed from being gentle and calm in nature to flipping out at the smallest thing. I became very sensitive to noise, tones of people's voices, triggers etc. The psychiatric system here didn't recognize my injury or PTSD and wanted to treat me with drugs which I didn't want. I decided to try and help myself and found some help through a technique called EFT (though this is not recommended for people with epilepsy). Things certainly started to get better but the anger and outbursts continued especially at those closet to me. Thankfully my family, although they had no idea what I was going through, stuck by me. Eventually however, I turned to faith and prayer and in that I found deep healing. I read that Jesus healed the sick and trusted He would heal me. Big changes occurred both mentally and psychically. After I'd recovered somewhat (I never returned to who I was before but have become more compassionate towards others), I began to work helping others with head injuries, and while therapeutic techniques/activities helped with calming the nervous system and social interactions, I still believe that trusting God and praying to Him personally is by far the greatest and most wonderful healing. Keep praying and believing. Cry out to God wherever you are and talk to Him about what your going through and ask for help.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Never stop praying even if you're not in a church. Pray anywhere and everywhere. Don't let nothing stop you from doing that.. You need that more than anything. Forgive yourself
Don't let guilt an shame hold you back from God's love for you. .You are still worthy he understands and forgives when we don't even understand it..
Tawny replied on Permalink
This seems to happen with my friend quite a bit. Just when he is trying or wanting to do something good and positive for himself he alone will sabotage it to the maximum. Only top realize after the damage is done that he never wanted it to happen like that he remorseful, ashamed, embarrassed,humiliated.
He will then minutes later act out again that was last night for 2hours straight every 10min he would act out then say sorry.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Article is logical however the person's life is destroyed and it's not easy to be happy and not angry all the time.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Thank you .... this helps
Dealing, trying too, with this after the head injury is humbling...
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Good read, this was the down to Earth, real life info for me and my child. He's a new 4, should rules be different for children or less tolerance? I've known this man his whole life. He'd be crushed if he even suspected I was thinking about leaving. I understand and tell my son he's cranky from his boo boo." He's a young kid. He told me today, "his scar is making him cranky." I had no idea he understood me. I needed this info because very few, if any, understand and think it's abuse when he would do ANYTHING I asked. He truly can't help it and his ego doesn't help. Thanks again.
Steve replied on Permalink
I myself suffering from a traumatic brain injury (sis) trying to cope everyday life is so hard i break down everday i get angry and frustrated i lost my family the grieving hurts so much i often think of taking my live because im not the person i used to be i find rehabilitation so difficult learning to walk and talk properly understanding simply things that people take for granted but I'm trying my best
Fellow Kiwi replied on Permalink
Hey Steve, fellow Kiwi here. I just wanted to say you’re not alone. It sounds like you have lost a lot but are trying very hard to recover.
That’s a good start and you should be proud of yourself for making the effort. It sounds like you just need some extra guidance and support to get the most from that energy.
I personally found that the resources in NZ are sadly limited for head injuries. I did however find hope.
With COVID shutting down travel, a lot of international rehabilitation centres are going virtual, which opens up a world of treatment for us kiwis.
KC replied on Permalink
Brain injury 43 years still loose my temper what should I do not happy
Julie replied on Permalink
I’m sorry you found yourself in this situation.my husband also has a tbi and it’s been difficult to say the least the important thing is to keep trying you will get there at some point maybe not to where you was before but to a better place
Kim replied on Permalink
My adult son fell at work, hit his head and had a seizure. When he woke up in the hospital, he was like a different person, and i couldnt even sit with him in the hospital for more than 20 minutes at a time because he was so angry and mean. They had put him on the anti-seizure medicine keppra, which causes anger issues, because it was quick-acting, but the following two weeks were a nightmare. He stayed with us, and i kept calling the hospital begging them to change his medication as he was getting more and more violent. He even argued with me that there was nothing wrong with him- that i was the one with a problem. I finally got him to a neurologist who changed his medication- but that one was just as bad- only this time he couldn't stop crying. After 2 1/2 weeks of all this, he finally just stopped taking them. Within 2 days, i had my son back and he said he couldn't believe how normal he felt again- it was unbelievable. So check the side effects of any med youre on- especially anti-seizures. It can be dangerous to stop, though, without a doctor's ok- so be sure to check into it first. Youre all in my prayers-
Rachel replied on Permalink
Hi I seen your comment and it sounds just like my daughter, she is 16 and was a passenger in a car crash around 10 weeks ago . She sustained a severe TBI wich she has miraculously recovered from very quickly but still has cognitive issues, I’ve noticed her get very angry and frustrated and not at all like my daughter was , she too is on keppra anti seizure medication and now I’m thinking is this the cause of it . I’m glad you’re son seems better that must be a relief for you , I’m really struggling to accept how my daughter is when before the accident she was so happy and healthy and ready to start the new chapter in life and start college. I just want her to get better. Thanks for sharing..rachel
Dom replied on Permalink
I wanted to say what it feels like for the injured. I get told I am not the same person but I am unsure who I was. I get angry easy even though I am (I think) a very loving person. I just cannot control it and when I see faces and realize how 'off' I am it is deep into the event.
I cherish my wife and kids. Frustration is hard for me. If I don't act out I cry, and that takes me into a fight or flight, then rage. I have been a bit better lately, but it is just below the surface. It is that I see people as attacking me even when many are just being curt or direct.
When I am upset I don't want touched. I have come to injure myself more, maybe trying to compensate. So, I cannot recreate how I used to to reset. Unfortunately, my retraction that helps a lot also makes me a shadow of the great guy who many loved in the past. Those who did not care for me, I see, as enemies and in truth they now have the upper-hand and this infuriates me. They do try to knock an old chip of my shoulder for some reason. I get excluded. I don't get asked for advice or participation. This when I do have something to offer and when 'community' would help me.
Ativan helps, so does weed which I have to get illegally in my state. So, in their absence I use alcohol. But I need it so much that is also a problem.
I am not physical with my family but what scares me most is that if they would give up on me. If that happens, my purpose would cease. They are all I have. Sure they try to help, but I am starting to think I am too much for them. I am a man and I never think of women with my issues. Then that added set of factors. Plus, I come off as pretty good so I never get the benefit of the doubt.
It is bad all the way around.
Lastly, I never cared for bullish police. But I have seen that if I just lose it dealing with one, and just being overly upset, they have little capacity or training to deal with just a 'pissed off guy'. The key is to let me be. I change back pretty quick, but I would suggest these things (I know the first two come with risks): make Ativan, somehow, more attainable; make weed legal and recreationally bc I don't think any state's medical program covers TMI; develop programs for family members; and very strong training for cops bc I expect one to kill me one day if I lose it.
While my frequency of acting up is less, it is bc I steer clear of every trigger and nearly everything outside of total bliss and fun is a trigger. Anyway, I just want to learn of a magic button to push bc I don't have enough left in me to work through all these strategies. Shame. I will say that equally one of the worst is when I hold it together only to not determine I am appreciated for doing so. It is hard on us too, even if I am always so pathetically sorry and that also makes matter worse inside me.
Is it wrong of me to say - families - try not to give up on us?
Not important. replied on Permalink
Put so well. Exactly it! Stay strong everyone. From another severe TBI victim.
Celina replied on Permalink
Hello Dom. I live with my partner, who has brain trauma as well. He also gets into angry fits, but I know it is not him. It is like living with two people, and it can be scary sometimes. I know he will never hurt me because he is a sweet and generous man, kind and gentle-natured. But when he flips a switch it is awful. I don't plan on giving up on him. I am trying to learn more about brain trauma. Thank you for your beautiful story. It gives me a little bit of hope and understanding. I hope your family sticks by you.
Bryce replied on Permalink
Oh Dom, I completely understand. I came to this page because I am trying to understand myself. I don’t remember what I was like; I am only told that I’m not the same. I don’t understand why am feeling upset just below the surface all the time. And I too am worried that my family will just give up on me.
another wife an... replied on Permalink
Dom, I want to say I hear you. I feel like my husband wrote this. We are going through the same thing at our house. If you are still seeing these posts I want you to know that you are not alone. It sounds like your family is still with you and trying to help. It is hard, there are days that I don't think I can handle the constant battles and confusion around what has triggered my once mild mannered spouse into becoming the angry aggressive person he is now. I hate that it just falls into the laps of the families to try and figure out a path forward but that is what it is. If your wife is like me she is also feeling overwhelmed and confused about what is right for everyone. I hope you are doing better and I send you and your family peace in the future. We are now 9 months post injury and while my husband is still struggling we have seen areas where we can try to come back together after explosive episodes. so trust that your family cares and is there for you.
Cris replied on Permalink
This sounds all too familiar.
Husband is just over a year post injury and the aggressive anger issues are becoming very hard to deal/cope with. We are a Family of 4 and the kids often wear the brunt of the anger. Usually over very very minor things.
If only there were more support networks out there for the Families.
Thinking of you all.
Doc replied on Permalink
I had went on a camping trip and at some point I for an unknown reason passed out and fell I barely remember even hitting my head when I fell from passing out. My girlfriend said when she got to me my eyes were rolled back in my head. I woke up angry and confused. We later that day after making the trip back home went to the emergency room and got checked out. They brushed the entire situation off saying it’s all cause of my smoking cigarettes and sent me home. I had continually gotten more and more angry and easier frustrated. My girlfriend came home today and talked to me about a conversation of this nature from a nurse she works with about her husband after hitting his head on some scaffolding at work. So I began researching some the things that we talked about and sure enough I came across your comment and your comment pretty much seems to be my exact experience. Up to and including the weed helping a lot and also the anger towards police.
Val replied on Permalink
My husband received a traumatic brain injury in a car accident 5 yrs & 9 mths ago. He was in the back seat of a co-workers car. In the drivers seat was a young co-worker that was 20 yrs old. In the front passenger seat was their boss, a young woman who was only 25 yrs old. She was married & had three children. The two people in the front of the car died & my husband was the only survivor in the car after they had pulled out in front of a semi-truck & were t-boned by it. My husband was in a coma for a month & has come a long way since. He suffers from short term memory problems as well as severe anger at times. He was someone who was very quick to anger before his accident & now he's got some serious anger issues. He has anger over his life situation, how things changed so much for him. He is on full disability & doesn't work. We have to live with my parents & long story short, we are very thankful but it can be very hard at times. My husband (Justin), has his anger set off by other things as well like annoying or loud noises. The noises range anywhere from dogs barking, whistling, loud sudden noises, to peoples voices. The anger is worse when he's in a bad mood. He wakes up every day very angry. I still find it natural to be happy to wake up next to him & tell him good morning, but I have to stop myself because it's best not to talk to him at first to avoid getting hurt by mean things being said to me. We have a son that's now 15 & their relationship was never the same after the accident. My husband gets very irritated pretty much every time our son is around. He's a very good & quiet kid, I just think that Justins head goes into I've got to make sure this kid is behaving & doing right mode & he just gets automatic anxiety which makes his noticeably ill. Over the years things have gotten a lot better. Justin will take himself away from people a lot of times so that he doesn't blow up, but not always. He has had some pretty scary times where he just went off the deep end & it was nearly impossible to calm him. He refuses to take a regular medication anymore to help keep him calm. The only thing that was ever strong enough anyways was Xanax & doctors just don't prescribe that these days. It stinks too because it's the only thing that can calm him down when he gets scary bad. I had to call an ambulance once, because he wouldn't calm down for over two days. He was running around our neighborhood house screaming horrific obscenities about me in front of children & everyone. He was taken to a psychiatric hospital. He was there a week & all they did was super over medicate him to the point of him urinating on himself while asleep. That's way too much meds if you ask me ya know! We've been through a lot of tough situations with his anger. I have been so scared for his life at times. He's had counseling, but that just doesn't do anything. His brain is injured, so there's not really much anyone can do. I just have turned to God & he has gotten us through all of this, day by day. When you see the impossible, just know & remember that God can do the impossible. I have not given up on my husband nor will I ever. It sure has been really hard, but I am very blessed to have God on my side. He is Awesome!
Sumaira replied on Permalink
My daughter has same issue, after brain surgery she used to get aggressive on small things. But I only thanks to God because I know one day He will settle my this problem also and make my daughter normal person. So just faith on Him and wait for His reply.
TD replied on Permalink
I have a son 25 that has a TBI and your story touch me in away for I feel the same It's God that keeps us.. I'm not giving up on my son either... Prayers for you
Maggie replied on Permalink
Thank you for reminding me that God looks after us - those injured and those caring for the injured. I have been looking after/supporting a friend with a head injury for many years and sometimes it is so hard, I feel like abandoning him. He also drinks heavily which makes everything so much worse. Members of my family and friends have said just leave him, while others say that my help has made such a big difference to his life. I would find it hard to abandon him as his own family can't cope with his symptoms and the medics only give him seizure drugs and try to explain to him to stop drinking. Only God's help keeps us both going I believe but it is a struggle sometimes.
Annie replied on Permalink
Thanks “Val”for sharing your personal story about your husband. And, Thanks to all you others too for sharing your personal stories. I’ve been married 43yrs. I’ve read a lot of these post that you wives have been sharing. My husband hasn’t been officially diagnosed with TBI. However, his anger has gotten so much worse, seriously worse over there’s years, that I’ve just started doing research to possibly see if I can figure out why!!! There have been several times, I feared for my life too, as many have stated. I’ve kept a diary for many years, only occasionally now, if something needs to be recorded. Plus..., now, I guess I’m numb. Many many nights of loss sleep. I’ve even had depression and taken meds, which my Dr. weaned me off of, because, I don’t like taking meds. Anyhoo..., Numerous head shots and concussions from soccer he played 36yrs. ago, starting at about age 30, and he played up until he was 50yrs old and prayer brought me to this website. So that’s a lot of concussions. I’ve as well as our 2 daughters, endured years and years and years of his anger. Then to add to all this past & present anger I’ve been dealing with, this past year he had a really bad head injury & concussion from a telephone poll falling on him. It’s totally wearing me down now, to the point of leaving and this saddens me! As I started to reflect back, I began to really pray about his anger, frustration, cussing, name calling, anxiety..., (mostly towards me) ohhhh..., all the verbal, emotional, mental, spiritual (thankfully not physical) etc...!, Through prayer as I mentioned, I came across this websit with wonderful stories, but, your story, the very last few sentences has been the most encouraging for me. God can do the impossible, if we believe. I believe! HE has gotten me through this many years of anger! I hope I don’t cave in and walk away unless God speaks and tells me enough is enough, walk away, (not divorce) you’ve done a good job, now let me do MY (God) job! Hugs & Prayers to you. Thks again for sharing:)
Ann replied on Permalink
My husband recently had his 4th wreck in one yr. This last accident he was knocked out by asphalt and burned on top of the head a little bit.
We've been together 4 yrs 2 married and he's been argumentative and angry ever since the wreck. He was not so much before. He has been back to work. He takes Blood pressure pills, cholesterol pills, antidepressants, and pain medication for his back. He did agree on counseling. And we're going to start soon. He has angry outbursts at times and curses and calls me names. I have reprimanded him and told him I don't support his nasty behavior and he better get help. I just want to know if it will get better with counseling. I don't want another nasty marriage.
Jacqueline replied on Permalink
I was involved in an accident where I was hit while sitting still. I had a concussion and now I have headaches that feel like getting hit in the head with a bat. I go from 0 to 100 instantly. I try to distance myself when I feel annoyed. My heart rate increases and I want to lash out physically.
Today I walked 8 1/2 miles because I wanted to explode. The walk calmed me but I still found my heart rate up and thoughts of rage.
Before hitting my head I was rational. This is scary and causing me to seclude myself just to avoid going off.