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At one point, Lee became so enraged over an empty cereal box that he wrenched the cupboard door off its hinges.
Lee’s wife reported, “The children are terrified of him now.” Because of these aggressive episodes, it has been hard for Lee to get into a day program whose goal is to help him transition back to work.
Family and caregivers must recognize that aggression after TBI is often a consequence of factors beyond a person’s control.
As we have noted, there are multiple potential causes of the aggression, ranging from direct effects of the TBI, other medical issues, medications, and social factors.
Aggression after TBI is thus not criminal violence, in which criminals plot and plan, execute a crime, then make their planned escape.
Aggression is common after traumatic brain injury (TBI) with rates ranging from 10-30%.
There are medications for chronic aggression, and doctors often prescribe them in combination with the behavioral and environmental techniques discussed above.
Medications include antidepressants, beta blockers, mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics or sometimes even stimulants.
After Lee returned home, he had emotional outbursts over trivial matters.
For example, a minor disagreement at the dinner table with his family escalated into a shouting match, and Lee stormed off, punching holes in walls.