Anger Following Brain Injury

Tedd Judd, Ph.D., Hispanic Neuropsychological Society
El Enojo Después de Lesión Cerebral

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 brain injured people first wake 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 brain injured people’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 injured person 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.

Anger Factors

Stimulation factors:

  • High noise or activity level
  • Unexpected events
  • Lack of structure

Personal factors:

  • Frustration
  • 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

Medical factors:

  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Medications (levels low or high?)
  • Alcohol or drugs

Anger Warning Signs

Speech signs:

  • Loud high voice
  • Cursing
  • Name calling
  • Threats

Behavioral signs:

  • 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

Physiological signs:

  • Fast breathing
  • Fast heart
  • Sweating
  • Over-aroused
  • Tense muscles
  • Flushed face
  • Bulging eyes

Mental signs:

  • Fantasies of doing any of the speech or behavioral signs
  • Negative thoughts about others
  • Confusion
  • Feelings of frustration
  • Feelings of fear or anxiety
  • Feelings of embarrassment, shame or guilt
  • Feelings of hurt

Early Strategies

These strategies are for staff and families to use when the brain injured person 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.

Prevention

  • 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

Management

  • Withdraw
    • 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.”
  • Distract
    • 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

Self-Control Strategies

These strategies are to be phased in when the brain injured person 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”.

Back Off

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.

Calm Down

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
  • meditation
  • prayer
  • 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”

Try Again

When the person returns from backing off and calming down he or she may need to

  • apologize,
  • 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 injured person of their warning signs such as Loud Voice, Tense Muscles, Confusion, or Thoughts of Hitting. These cards should be carried by the brain injured person 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.

Grief Reaction

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.

Frustration

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

Brain injured people 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 injured people 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.

Conclusion

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 injured person can all work together to understand and manage the problem to help the brain injured person to work towards recovering self control.

Posted on BrainLine June 4, 2013. Reviewed July 25, 2018.

Source: Hispanic Neuropsychological Society. Used with permission. http://hnps.org

Comments (74)

Will I or a TBI anger person suffer from this for life , even though they have been taking medication and doing therapy early on , when accident happened ? I have headache's and still see a nuerologist at Uof M hopeing for help there . Thank you for sharing .

I don’t know how or why it happens to me but i will get very mad and violent for no reason at all out of no where and i can’t stop myself no matter what i do to prevent or stop what is happening one min i will be laughing in everything is ok and then i just start punching people n things close to me and I’m unable to stop myself it’s like I’m sitting in the backseat just watching it all happen and I’m powerless to stop it i need help but nothing works I’ve been to therapy and anger management but that just makes it worse or does nothing to help any advise please I’m willing to try anything

I got hit in the head with a John Deere bucket about three years ago and since then this is exactly how my life is ....!!!!!

My partner has been through neuropathy where he couldn’t walk for 3 years. Then he went through stage 4 cancer of the mouth. Now he has fluid on the brain. They can’t do any stints or camera in the brain to help. The last 3 weeks he gets mad and moves out for a night. Does someone know if this is probably because of the fluid. How can I help him and is it good to get in a group to talk about it

My 43 year old son was already disabled from a work injury when he fell and hit his head in 2008. His behavior slowly progressed to all the symptoms shown in this article. The hardest part, aside from his injury, is getting people to realize he is not in control of his anger and impulses. They think he should just straighten up and behave. Not going to happen. The older he gets, the worse it gets.

Is there a free health clinic in town? If not, there is on-line help but not sure if insurance covers it as it is with therapists but at $75 an hour

My husband of 52 is very similar. I knew of his brain injury when we married but as he gets older, the anger gets worse. It is very hard on me and my family. *frustrated*

My son suffered a car accident 3 yrs. Ago. I know there are groups out there for tbi. But at times i feel so alone in the daily struggles of taking care of him. He can become so controling and angry for little things that the rest of my family members want me to get rid of him
At times i feel that might be a solution. It so heart wrentching to see a child who had so much possibility decline. He doesnt want to try to read write or learn. H

If you wish to be apart of the peer mentoring program where there is a one on one telephone support for caregivers and survivors of brain Injury, contact OBIA.ca to be connected to the coordinator in your area.

Dealing with the same thing with my 21 yrs old son, who suffered a brain bleed. He is getting real crazy and making threats, when we are the only ones helping him.

I think the best thing to do is to get involved with a brain injury program. This will help the person and families to see they are not alone. God bless all of you. I forgot that, before anything, prayer.

How can you get interest back in caring about yourself?

Hi Nancy, my names is Andres. I was surgically intervened because of a brain tumor.  know you are passing through a difficult scenario, but don't lose your hope. Even if you feel like no one loves you and everyone is attacking you, that's not true.

you could be alive if it was not for all the people that were around you when your injury or surgery happened, so you are not alone, and you never were more loved by everyone around you.

all that things that you feel are not real, don't let your brain problems take control of your life, you and only you have to power to change that feeling, there is no magic method or some medical technique to solve your problem, you must endure the things you feel and take them away. Sometimes you will not be able to defeat by yourself, but if you keep trying, every day of your life, someday, you will wake up and say "I'm the most lucky person in this planet, even after all I had to pass, I'm still here, strong and healthy, happy to be alive in this beautiful world." That day, you will have won the most difficult battle that any human being can win, the battle against yourself.

Keep going, and never fall back, don't let this situation take over your life, and remember: if you fall seven times, stand up 8.

I just wanted to extend my encouragement to all those suffering with this, and those who are affected by the anger of their loved one. My fiance was in a car accident and hit his head on the steering wheel, suffering from a big hematoma and most likely a concussion. He is a black man and the accident only happened because CHP ignored him when he was asking for direction at the Mexican Border, he presumed that their stares in response to his hand gestures to make a uturn meant it was okay to, and they watched him with eye contact as he slowly got on to the wrong side of the freeway. This is what racism does. Unfortunately someone died in the accident, and he's now facing vehicular manslaughter charges along with suffering from the brain injury. His behavior was presumed to be that of a drunk driver by the cops and hospital staff, hey treated him as such before receiving toxicology. They interrogated him, drugged him, and tortured him with improper catheter insertion before finding out that he had nothing in his system, and then threw him in jail with a bleeding penis in isolation for 14 days with no medical attention, no scans, and an allergic reaction to the antipsychotic he was overdosed on. We have both suffered a great deal from this, we lost our vehicle and insurance won't pay for a new one until 90 days after the trial is over. He cannot work and has all the symptoms including psychological, metabolic, cardiac and sleep. I didn't know the symptoms were TBI related for an entire year, I assumed it was from the antipsychotic and the effects never wore off. He hasn't been the same since, and I miss the man I fell in love with. I'm glad he's alive on days when he is almost normal, but constantly walking on eggshells to avoid triggering his anger. I cannot express myself, I am not a part of a relationship and instead I am just trying to help him survive through this jury trial, and getting him the proper medical help. I feel as if I have lost him, and I grieve every day. He only has a public defender and his trial is at the end of January, we finally got a diagnosis, but now have to fight in court to prevent eviction because he spent the entire month of December in and out of the hospital. We have lost nearly all loved ones, because nobody understood. We are self employed and operate a business together, I am doing everything myself. Any encouragement, advice, or legal help is much appreciated. I'm praying for us all.

My mother has a brain injury and is unrecognizable: angry, alcoholic, suicidal, depressed. Your heart breaks for them and sometimes you feel like you hate them and want to leave them - it's so hard!! I empathize with you and I was horrified to read about your husband's (and consequently your) experience and having to also deal with all the institutional discrimination. Unfortunately, I don't have advice or legal contacts - just wanted to reach out.
Disgusting what racism can do and how many people deny it's overt and subtle violence!!
I wish you both strength and love and hooefully you connect with some kind of ABI program to develop strategies and get support. ♡

In 2010 I was punched in the head (right frontal lobe) several times with in a matter of seconds; lost consciousness, have a slight crack in my skull and MRI’s that show restricted blood flow. I get horrible Migraine headaches that no RX can help. Over the course of the last 6 months any little thing can make me angry in milliseconds. Hard to describe and lasting impacts when it happens. I hold a full time job and a part time job. I’m either awake for days or go to sleep as soon as I get home. How do I deal with this and where can I go for treatment?

RE: migraines - you could ask for a neurology referral from your primary doctor to address migraines

RE: anger management - See a therapist!!!! There are CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)  or DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) techniques you can learn from a therapist who is trained in these techniques, I've seen success when  CBT or DBT is applied & followed by patients. You could web search both these techniques online to read more about them..

I can totally Relate to this, my husband suffered a sever TBI going on 4 years ago he was working at a timber yard mill when one day he was hit in the forehead and was sent back and fell and injured the right side of his head, his anger in the last year has been uncontrollable scary and its getting worse, lately he has been carring weapons around in public with him, he got into a disagreement while we where up town , he then used his weapon to defend himself as the other person was as angry as my husband and who also had a weapon, as a result of this he has been placed in prison for this incident , we have 5 children together all aged between 14 - 19 years of age, and we are shattered and are very concerned for his safety in prison, one knock to his head and it could be a very bad outcome, we love him support him care for him , living with a person with a head injury TBI is like we are starting a new life with many many challenges but we will continue to love and help him find ways to cope.

I can empathise with you 100%, Teresa. At least you are supportive of your husband. My son has landed in a similar situation after a serious motor cycle accident just over three years ago. Since his accident he has been injured on the same spot twice on the right side of the head due to violent acts by other people. He has never had a brain scan since those incidents and I have also noticed the terrible anger issues in him. On top of that he suffers from PTSD due to a 9-year career in the local police force, then a 7-year stint on deployment in war zones abroad. The guy has had destructive surgery on his right ear because his cochlea got smashed when he fell sideways on to the road during the bike accident. Now he is totally deaf in his right ear. His reasoning power must have been affected because his actions have landed him in trouble too. So, yes, please rely on God. My heart and thoughts are with you and your family. I FEEL YOUR PAIN!!

My husband fell from a 4 story roof. Among other injuries he also has a tbi. He used to be so sweet and kind to me, but not so much anymore. I need to help him but he is such an angry person now,nothing lime the man I married. I don't know what else to do but divorce ...even though I still live the man I married with all my heart, he is no longer that person and I never know when his anger will surface.

I found this information very helpful as numerous behavioral techniques were presented in a concise and orderly fashion.

My husband's tbi was 16 years ago. He wrecked his atv his head made direct contact with a wooden post and then the atv landed on top of him. He went into shock and had major blood loss from his open head wounds. He suffered 14 skull fractures. His moods have been an issue the last few years. He is now angry ALL the time. He thinks I don't "listen" to him. Every little thing irritates him. As his wife I do NOTHING right I drive wrong, talk wrong, make all the wrong choices. Almost every morning I wake up to him yelling at me about something so stupid. Once his fit is over I'm supposed to be "normal" and my feelings aren't supposed to be hurt. He goes to work and functions yet I am left in tears trying to safely drive myself to work. He will text me and say he is sorry but I honestly don't think he totally understands how his mood ruins my life. I don't know how I alone can go on like this I can't even be a person because I am always worrying about his next blow up. I don't enjoy anything anymore and nobody understands. Sometimes he will ask me why I am "depressed" and he struggles to understand why I lack the drive and motivation I once had.

Same here, I totally get what you have posted. Sounds like my husband to a “t”! Been in this same dilemma for more than 16yrs due to sports concussions “soccer” and now a bad head accident with a concussion a year ago. Just realizing today that he is experiencing TBI. It’s awful and the anger is scary and horrible and getting very bad. I’m ready to leave. I’m getting scared for my life now that physical abuse is next. The verbal, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse over the years has been bad enough and that’s waaay worse. I’m Gonna try mentioning to him to go get checked out and on meds. Hope he agrees.

First , I am sad for you. I am your sorta like husband. However I am 6 years out a from an accident and a wife. But I have constant head pain, I see dr.s , on pills and been thru therapy , willing to do whatever , but this anger is the Hulk. It was not me and is now me , I hate it. I explode and then just want to give up now ,since it's getting worse not better .
So for you ,,,,,my advise is walk away ,, until HE GETS HELP ,,,YOU DON'T DESERVE THIS AND HE SURE DOESN'T NEED TO PUT YOU THROUGH THIS ,, LIFE IS SHORT ,,, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO HAVE A LIFE,,, THIS IS NOT RIGHT. GO LIVE

I feel you , Reading your story was you where telling my life with my husband, my husbands work accident happend 4 years ago Skull fracture open head wound also ,I have not taken any time out for myself Im still in survival mode caring for his every needs, his anger is getting worse to the point he is uncontrolible , its happens nearly daily, aww I understand your lack of motivation and drive you once had, wish you luck .

I have a traumatic brain injury from a car accident I remember nothing about, I had brain surgery and I have a nickel size hole in my brain. No one likes me, I'm always mad even at work, I work at Denny's and I don't know the menu because of my short term memory loss! I got fired for knocking the cooks teeth out because I was mad over pancakes! I need help but no one will help me

Just over 17 years ago in 2001 I was struck on the head repeatedly for quite sometime. I only remember going home after that and I am covered in blood. I do get angry easily and I have memory lose. I want help because I yell and get angry at my 4 year old for no reason and my anger is causing my marriage to collapse. I need help before its too late.

A Traumatic Brain Injury is a legitimate disability. Not sure what state you are in, but you should be able to receive assistance with employment services. Google that for your state. In my state, it is the state's Department of Rehabilitative Services. They refer people for job training and other services. Sounds like this would be helpful for you.
Best of luck to you...

Can you get interest in life back?

Two years ago I was assaulted and had a very serious concussion. It was not my first I was forced to give up my college football career because I had a frequent amount in less than a year. Lookin back I believe I had a few minor concussions before college. I am now 25 I left college football at 19. In between the last 6 years I feel like I hadn't been there. As if I was watching myself live my life without control. I have huge lapses in memory and often forget people I have met multiple times (very frustrating as people see this as rude or uninterested). I have never been knocked unconscious though for the past two years I have been in an altered state of consciousness. I have had to work through all of this I have two jobs and work about 60-70 hours a week. This consumes all of my energy and the rest of my time is spent in limbo between rest in an exhausted state. I am exhasted with rage, hyper sexuality, memory loss, loss of purpose, vision problems. Because of this exhaustion I am unable to act on my wishes or even simple thoughts like I am thirsty I should get a glass of water or it's a nice day i should go outside instead I am internalizing my struggles constantly. I feel that I the person I was is dead I feel I will never be again. I had a friend who also suffered from these symptoms after having his skull split open. He has since killed himself. The only person who truly understood me and could relate to me took his own life while drunk. Alcohol will kill you if you have any brain issues stay away from it. Nobody can see that I carry this all they see is a lazy person who doesn't care about anything. I feel like I am held hostage by my history and I have no say in my future. This is post concussion syndrome.

I have had three concussions in two years, and attacked my boyfriend this week. My anger has never been this bad. I am facing two charges. My heart breaks.

I have read through all these comments, four or five times in the last two years. Usually when I am at a really low place, and it helps me forgive myself. The guilt and grief of not being able to present yourself in a way that you are proud of is unbearable. Much more so than the actual outburst of anger. I feel as though we take too much responsibility, I know the faster I forgive myself the quicker the anger ceases. Background on me, I am a 40-year-old, first concussion age 6 last one 3 years ago, 10 others in between. A skull fracture and a fracture c3 vertebrae. Constant pain, head, neck, shoulders, chest. Pain is all head injury when well rested, little pain. Popping constantly in the head, like your ears when you are climbing a mountain in a car, except it occurrs whenever the brain is tired, happens constantly, more than one per second, drives me nuts and will last for days at a time. Lucky if I get 4 hours of very interrupted sleep. Very physically active until the last concussion. Since that time any exertion throws me into a rage that the last three or four days. Be that physical mental or emotional exertion. The pattern goes like this I'm sure some of you know it, rage, apathy, depression, suicidal. Exercise and sports were a great outlet before. Anxiety is very extreme, I only go to work, and my attendance is atrocious, if it wasn't for my sweet wife who now runs the business side of things We would never make it. I am angry and bitter at everyone I know, I don't speak to my family, I feel as though they were not there for me, and my feelings are too hard to let them Back into my life. I feel very disconnected from God and have not felt his presence in years. It is as though the part of the brain that can feel God got damaged with the rest of it. I find that I hope is the greatest resource. Hope that someday, I can be more of myself. Hope that someday, I can learn to deal with it correctly or medicine will catch up, or enough time will pass. I have done neurofeedback, bought a hyperbaric, been extremely diligent with every diet that is supposed to help, spent close to 1000 $ a month on different supplements, yoga, meditation, cbd cannabis oils. All of these things help, until you push too hard, be that physical chemical or emotional, and then you are right back at square one. The hard part is you start to get better, and so you try to jump back into life, and your brain says wait a second you're screwed up what the hell are you thinking. I have a wonderful wife that is very supportive and beautiful loving children, that I can't stand, they are just too much, God help us all!

The last sentence...what do you mean by it? We are now going through this with my husband. He’s a totally different person most days. Like he hates us and all we do is everything possible for him. We have two babies and a teenager. It’s only been 3 weeks and feels like it’ll never end. I’ve thought of leaving. I’m just lost and overwhelmed. It doesn’t help the circumstances that lead up to this whole thing.

I was hit in the front right portion of my head with an aluminum base ball bat when I was 16. After that I've had mood swings and little stressors like loud kids or my wife asking me to do something I forgot throws me into a rage. It's not until the next day that I even realize that I was acting like this. Could this be from a TBI? I'm 34 now and I still have this issue.

After reading the comments, I thought I'd add in some of the other things that happened when I was assaulted overseas.

I also had a stuttering problem, but worst of all was the inability to finish a sentence.  It's like today, when I have a tangential angle that I want to highlight, I can normally add it in, but after the assault, I could only stop and try to think about what I was talking about, but not remember, and then get frustrated because of it.  That was another negative thing that has gone away now.  When I get angry now, I can forget things similar to that, but nowhere near like it used to be.

I'm angry at being injured and for just about everything else. Why the hell does nobody seemto care?

I have had numerous TBI's the worst in 2011 after I retired from the navy, I started having seizures but these were knock out ones I guess.. my brain just stopped and went to heart beat and breathing. I was standing all four times.. by the last one I knew who I was but who was that? I was so lost I could only walk straight down a street only or I would get lost.. at first I honestly don't know much of any thing. 5 years later I start to realize that I have been gone. I'm physically there but baby no one was home. My problem now is omg rage hate anger screaming what the f is wrong with me.. it's like some fricken force is just like a locamotave full speed pulling 100 cars is taken control over my body I'm screaming stop to myself inside but it has some strange force that takes me for a ride. I'm 51 years old acting worse then 4 year old. I lost my children, wife parents siblings. There to embarrassed to go out with me cause you don't know what you will get. Well there all gone know. I try everything

A Fractured Skull in 1988, 5 Concussions, 4 severe... But, after acquiring. Severe Hypoglycemia, from a Duadunal ulcer that rested on.my Pancreas... giving me severe Low Blood sugar, several.months after the Ulcer surgery.... And not knowing the long lasting effect of either episode... I started having mental problems, especially with anger, even telling my Mom..." You know, I swear I get so.mad over the smallest things, I think I could end up.killing someone and not realizing it until it was over..." Note: It took them 20 months after the surgery to find out I had Hypoglycemia, and it took as long for me to even find out about my head injury. I had no idea I had been inured.. until I was asked to go to court and testify against 3 men I swore I had never seen before... (They ended up getting 6 to 9 yrs each for attempted murder I still have no.memory of the incident or for 4 months after said injury).... So, when I started having sugar attacks, ( my body creates touch insulin)... Via low blood sugar symptoms, I only knew a couple of things... I felt it in my Stomach, (hunger, bordering on starvation) and in.my head.. so I didn't know which.problem was causing, what I referred to as " my spinouts"... Now here it is 28 years later... And having knowledge of both problems, I still fight with symptoms every day..... And now, just in the last 2 days... I've found, thanks to one simple comment and looking it up and reading this page here... I've discovered a direct coalition between my anger management and past head injuries.... Thank some sort of higher power... That I stumbled upon all this.. I'm seeing.my Psychologist today and I'm armed with new Facts!... Thank You all so.much

I've played hockey for a very long time and then I added lacrosse a short time ago. I never had a real head injury until a few years ago then it seemed I got them quickly a lot in a short time. I only went to the doctor after the last one -- in which I was hit near the temple by a lacrosse ball with no helmet. That he one that has made me choose to leave sports (due also to the fact I've fractured my L5 twice separated my SI joint and my knees permanently dislocate. But back to what I was saying, I've had a bad anger out burst problem and they were always unprovoked. They've caused me to lose the love of my life and I'm just now seeking help.

I was nearly beaten to death 12 years ago, and after 6 years of therapy and numerous medications I still have irrational anger outbursts. Thank goodness I'm still not violent, but after reading this I wonder why I never got emotional rehabilitation along with the cognitive and physical therapy. And I can't help but wonder why I just learned about confabulation. This explains a lot, while at the same time it's making me reevaluate the entire incident and recovery process.

My daughters severe TBI from a MVA 3 years ago has been one long nightmare. No one told us about the extreme anger. We are dealing with it now but I had to leave for a while because of the physical abuse and being told that I was the cause of her anger (I know now it is the brain injury) just devastated me.

I was in practice for football got a concussion and now I get mad all the time over nothing I don't understand and I hope it doesn't last

Understanding should've come first and then together the two of you could have identified what was going on and resolved the issues appropriately ....rather then by abandonment due to the unknown ! Here's hoping you helped him through his differences! God bless!!!

just recently ended a relationship with a man i love. he would have small raging fits and tantrums. he played college football, a linebacker. our story ended suddenly after he hit me for placing an order of fast food on the armrest of his truck. in that instant i became afraid of him. the smallest of things would bring about the worst tantrums. i wish he could have had some help.

I got my first TBI in 07 as a result of a IED exploding beside my Humvee while in Iraq. I was knocked out for almost an hour and when I woke up I didn't know who I was or where I was. I found out a few days later what had happened and that my skull was cracked I also had a subdural hematoma on the frontal lobe of my brain. Well over the years my anger has gotten crazy then in 2013 I got another concussion when I had a wreck on a motorcycle and I bounced my head on the pavement and laid there in a puddle of blood for about 30 minutes before I woke up. It was 4am out in BFE no one around so I managed to get the bike up and look it over then I had to ride it back home then I went to the ER. Since then my anger has gotten worse and I blow up on my girlfriend and my family for the dumbest shit. I hate myself so much at times I've tried to od on heroin because of it then went to rehab. Things are up and down still and like tonight before finding this site I raised my voice at my girlfriend for telling me she might get a promotion at work. I did it for no reason other than I know she hates her job. I love her more than life itself but I'm going to loose her if I don't stop. I was a happy guy once. I miss that guy and want to be him again so bad.

Thank you everyone who commented! My husband fractured his skull when he was 15. He had fractured it in 11 pieces. We have been together for almost 7 years but he is still struggling worse than ever before. We are experiencing financial pressure and I think it's adding to the rage and anger. Even though I'm super frustrated I am not willing to leave him. I love him more than I dislike his tantrums but your stories are helping me understand what he might be going through. He has never hit me or the children just storms out all the time....won't talk to me sometimes for several days.

I have been a brain injury patient for ten years had long term concussion syndrome and then received a devastating head injury and one more a year later I've been suffering from anger control issues before the Injury when I was angry in the beginning i could not control it it was like being on steroids all of a sudden I have tried to find peace and tranquility through Buddhism the anger eventually progresses to being all the time and I describe it as being the hulk when I get mad it's never pretty I've gotten better at controlling the outbursts but at the cost of my own health i was getting so angry and holding it in I would get sick and throw up get headaches and clench my jaw and muscles till they were sore I've been on mood stabilizers and anti psychotic before and they don't really help I just felt dead inside and dumb has anyone found a way of dealing with or releasing the anger I've tried art boxing weight lifting running gardening singing therapy anger management cognitive behavior therapy nothing has made the anger subside I just wish for an answer to alleviate the anger just for a few hours a day some how any recommendations would be great thanks

3 years ago i was t boned on my drivers side door on the highway. I was making a left hand turn in a turning lane into a residential road with my signal light on. Someone decided to pass 3 cars behind me and failed to see my signal light. He was going 120 km/hr and i was turning at maybe 10 k/hr. I was knocked out unconscious and woke up in the ditch. My vehicle was destroyed. My anger is still here although not as bad as it was. I find myself having anger outburst and holing myself back from violent episodes. I was never an angry person. I don't know what's wrong with me and it seems like doctors don't want to help and no one wants to listen. No one can sympathize. I've lost a sense of myself and my happiness. My partner drinks a lot and has a way of turning everything into my fault so i think I've done something wrong constantly which doesn't help with my stability....im so confused.

I'm on head injury number 4. first I was hit in the head with a small piece of petrified wood when I was 5. When I was 14 I was hit by a car and both my legs were broken on top of a closed head injury from hitting the windshield. Number 3 was a huge metal plaque that fell on my head from a high place. the fourth and final was a scooter accident and I was intoxicated. My head struck the street and I got up and went home and went to sleep. The next day I didn't feel right and I went to the ER to find out that my brain was slightly bleeding from the impact. Ever since getting hit my a car, I have always felt an anger growing inside me. I back talk, smart off, yell, cuss, argue over small stupid things. I get confused easily and frustrated constantly. My Gf is pretty much ready to leave me because I can't control my emotions. I want to help myself, but I can't afford health insurance to go see a proper doctor. I keep reaching out but I don't think people understand what's going through my head. Its like a constant stampede running through and I want it to stop so I can live a normal positive life.

"Can it be helped?" The answer is yes, to some degree. In some studies, taking fish oil 1-2 grams per day reduced irritability by 30% in patients. Cardio exercise reduces irritability. Anger management classes or groups can be very helpful with TBI patients. Also, regular mindful meditation can have a huge impact on anger levels (see UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center for podcasts).

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