Emotional Lability

Physical Communication Cognitive Behavioural / Emotional

Emotional lability can simply be described as rapidly changing moods or emotions. This can occur as a result of brain injury. There may be episodes of crying or laughing which do not correspond to the way the person is feeling, and over which the person has little or no control. A change in emotions can appear without any apparent specific reason and can appear as an over-reaction to a situation. This can be confusing for the persons close to a person with emotional lability.

Usually there is an improvement in emotional stability following brain injury. People often recover to a more normal emotional state over a period of time. Supportive feedback may assist after the person has regained control from an emotional episode. A psychologist may be able to help if problems are severe or persistent. Sometimes medications may help to stabilise mood.


"There are problems with getting people into neuro-rehab. Those most in need are often those most excluded due to a lack of socio-economic resources."
Vicki Anderson; Australia
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
"With support parents cope better so the child has a better recovery"
Andrea Palacio-Navarro; Spain
"Strength-based family intervention after pediatric ABI is essential. Parents need to be equipped with the skills to cope and advocate for the child."
Caron Gan; Canada
"Taking brain injured children home causes high stress for families. Disjointed services exacerbate family stress levels."
Deborah Andrews; New Zealand
"Families need to be properly supported as 'resilience' is key to delivering successful outcomes for children and young people."
Roberta De Pompeii; USA
"Positive and coordinated neuro-rehab interventions for children and young people is proven to bring health improvements; improve independence; reduces the need for sheltered living; decreases vulnerability; decreases drop-out rates in schools; decreases youth offending"
Eric Hermans; Netherlands
"Case management for children and young people post acquired brain injury is 'pivotal' to successful outcomes and must be local"
Deborah Andrews; New Zealand
"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
"NHS clinicians struggle with what intervention to prioritise in paediatric neuro-rehabilitation due to limited clinical time and the complexity of needs. Children, clinicians, parents and schools all have different neuro-rehabilitation priorities"
Recolo; United Kingdom

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