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Impulsivity / Self-Control

Sometimes individuals with TBI may react before thinking. "Stop and think" is a good way to help a person make up for various cognitive or behavioral problems resulting from the TBI. It allows the person to stop, slow down, pause, and take the needed time to think about something before speaking or acting on it. This may allow time to develop a reasonable plan or response.

What might you see?

  • Saying whatever comes to mind without thinking about how it might affect the person or someone else
  • Acting without thinking about potential consequences (for example, crossing the street without checking traffic)
  • Saying inappropriate comments to or about others
  • Increased alcohol consumption or use of other substances, smoking, or spending money

How can you help?

  • Use redirection (for example, suggest a different activity or topic of conversation).
  • Develop a special "stop and think" signal that you can use to alert the service member or veteran when he or she is doing or saying something inappropriate (for example, raising your finger or saying a special word).
  • Suggest that your family member "stop and think," slow down, and consider options.
  • Discuss the behavior and possible consequences in private.
  • Avoid comparing past and present behaviors.