Agressive Outbursts

Physical Communication Cognitive Behavioural / Emotional

The parts of the brain that normally inhibit angry feelings and behaviour may be damaged as a result of a traumatic brain injury. This means that the person has a lower threshold and becomes angry more easily and more intensely. Outbursts of anger can come and go quite quickly and can be made worse by stress, fatigue etc. This can be difficult for family and friends to deal with.

If possible avoid known potential triggers for aggressive outbursts. If there is an aggressive outburst remain calm and do not argue with the person. Try to redirect attention elsewhere or remove the person from the situation if possible. If necessary remove yourself from the situation to allow the person to calm down. An aggressive outburst can flare up suddenly and just as quickly resolve itself. Often the person with the brain injury will understand that their behaviour was not appropriate once they have had time to calm down.

Alcohol and drug misuse with consequent intoxication may exacerbate agitation and aggression.

Aggression usually occurs early in the course of recovery and may resolve spontaneously. Use of medications to try to control aggression can have negative impacts on brain rehabilitation and need to be carefully considered and monitored if used.


"Our 10 year study proves that family-led home-based neuro-rehab interventions deliver the best outcomes for children and young people"
Lucia Braga; Brazil
Child 1 - Aged 14 and 3 years after a traumatic brain injury
2019 2020 Change
REASONING 301/800 426/800   +  125
MEMORY 181/800 304/800   +  123
ATTENTION 463/800 573/800   +  110
COORDINATION 47/800 309/800   +  262
PERCEPTION 158/800 374/800   +  216
"Too often children and young people with ABI are discharged from hospital without specialist brain support that they and their families need to overcome lifelong challenges"
Andrew Ross; former Chief Executive of the Children's Trust
"Healthy teens are better at identifying strategies to deal with barriers. KIDS WITH ABI'S CAN'T!"
Shari Wade; USA
"Often families don't have the financial capability to access services. We need to rethink how we deliver neuro-rehab services to children and young people"
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"Pediatric neuro-rehabilitation cannot be delivered in isolation. The needs of the child have to be looked at both holistically and within the context of the family unit. Parents need to be empowered to be parents in post-acute pediatric neuro-rehabilitation following brain injury"
The Children's Trust; United Kingdom
"We are medical practitioners. The real experts are the parents. Over the last 35 years they have taught me everything I know"
Lucia Braga; Brazil
I was very impressed with the results you have had with the young people you have worked with.
"More play increases brain plasticity and makes for better recovery post brain injury"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"Different 'experts' involved in paediatric neuro-rehabilitation come from different organisational cultures which causes conflict and has a negative effect on the outcomes for the child."
Barbara O'Connell; Ireland

OUR MISSION: To work to remove inequalities for children & young people affected by acquired brain injury; and provide effective support to their families that makes a real difference.

Council for Disabled Children Community Funded Charity Excellence Lottery Funded Youth Foundation BBC CiN