Emotional and behavioral dyscontrol after traumatic brain injury

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2014 Mar;37(1):31-53. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2013.12.001.


Emotional and behavioral dyscontrol are relatively common neuropsychiatric sequelae of traumatic brain injury and present substantial challenges to recovery and community participation. Among the most problematic and functionally disruptive of these types of behaviors are pathologic laughing and crying, affective lability, irritability, disinhibition, and aggression. Managing these problems effectively requires an understanding of their phenomenology, epidemiology, and clinical evaluation. This article reviews these issues and provides clinicians with brief and practical suggestions for the management of emotional and behavioral dyscontrol.

Keywords: Affective lability; Aggression; Assessment; Disinhibition; Irritability; Management; Pathological laughing and crying; Traumatic brain injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affective Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Affective Symptoms / drug therapy
  • Affective Symptoms / etiology*
  • Aggression*
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Crying*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / diagnosis
  • Impulsive Behavior / etiology*
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Irritable Mood*
  • Laughter*
  • Mood Disorders / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires