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.


"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
"Brain development is complex and prolonged. Brain plasticity is influenced by a range of factors. Plasticity provides a base for neuro-rehab therapies and treatment"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"When someone has a brain injury, early access to local, specialist rehabilitation is crucial to ensure the maximum recovery and make significant savings to the state in health costs"
Headway; United Kingdom
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
"Children and young people have poor social competence post brain injury due to reduced cognition, executive functions, and emotional control. As a result they are twice as likely to have mental health issues in the future"
James Tonks; University of London
"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
"Participation in teen sports and normal activities leads to improved quality of life for children and young people post brain injury and helps to maximise outcomes"
Claire Willis; Australia
"We are impressed with the progress you have made with the individual we referred to you."  Social Worker    
"Thousands of children and young people living in the UK today without the help and support that can make a huge difference to their lives"
Dalton Leong; Chief Executive of the Children's Trust
"When different organisations assess different aspects of a child's neuro-rehabilitation needs, everyone looks at things from a different perspective and have conflicting priorities"
Cathy Jonson; Rehab without Walls; 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