The “Irritability/Anger after Traumatic Brain Injury: A Self-Help Guide” is a detailed booklet aimed at individuals who have experienced a brain injury, as well as their relatives, caregivers, and professionals in the field. Developed by psychological practitioners at Headwise Ltd, it is based on best clinical practice guidelines and psychotherapeutic approaches to anger management.
The guide addresses several key areas:
- Understanding Anger: It explains anger as a normal human emotion and outlines the physiological changes that occur during anger, such as increased readiness for action. However, it also notes that in modern society, the expression of anger often needs to be managed differently.
- Anger after Brain Injury: The guide discusses why anger is a common issue post-brain injury, affecting at least a third of survivors. It is often more prevalent in those with severe injuries and cognitive difficulties.
- Biopsychosocial Model of Anger: It uses this model to explain the increased prevalence of anger issues after brain injury, considering biological, psychological, and social factors.
- Strategies for Overcoming Anger: The guide provides practical strategies for managing anger, including identifying triggers, warning signs, and negative thoughts, and offers methods for challenging these thoughts.
- Adaptive Emotion Expression: It suggests ways to express emotions adaptively and includes advice on exercise, sleep, social support, distraction, and relaxation as part of anger management.
The guide is 23 pages long and is not intended to replace therapy but to complement it. It acknowledges that some individuals, especially those with memory, language, and abstract reasoning difficulties, may find it challenging to complete the exercises without additional support.