Anger and Lowered Tolerance

Headway Thames Valley Chairman, Dr. Trevor Powell talks about anger and lowered tolerance after brain injury.

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“Often after a head injury a part of the frontal lobes are injured, which acts as an inhibitor, dampening down impulsive emotional and sensory responses – like a brake or a filter. The  result of this damage is that people feel and act in a less tolerant, more impulsive, more angry way. Little irritants become big irritants.


“Emotional explosions are damaging to relationships – the biggest challenge for friends and family.” 


1. Recognise the  stressors or triggers  that provoke anger – keep a diary. It might be tiredness, noise, a tone of voice etc.

2. Discuss with others and work out a plan for coping or avoiding the trigger.

3. Work out a calming routine,  – a relaxation exercise , a self-statement or a specific distraction task, even counting to ten.

4.  If you feel you are ‘losing it’ remove yourself from the situation and calm down before returning.

-Dr. Trevor Powell