After a stroke, a patient often experiences behavioral and emotional changes. This happens because the stroke affects the brain, and the brain is responsible for controlling a person’s emotions and behavior. An injury caused by a stroke can make an individual confused, forgetful, careless or irritable. Other than that, some stroke survivors may also experience depression, anxiety or anger.
An individual’s personality described as a combination of feelings, behaviors, and thought patterns.Personality change refers to a shift in the way a person thinks, acts or feels. It may be noticeable only to that person, or it may be evident to people close to them.You may have often observed that people who know you well may occasionally predict how you will react to something or finish your sentence.
A stroke can lead to changes in a person’s personality, and that person may seem unpredictable and different to others. At times the person’s character traits can be reversed, for instance – if the person was calm by nature before the stroke, they may now be more aggressive. Or, if someone has always been outspoken and loud, they may now be timid and less expressive. However, in most cases, the existing personality traits are exaggerated. The patient might be unaware that their personality is different and live in denial. On the other hand, the patient’s friends and family are usually more aware of how different they have become. There are many ways a patient’s personality can change after stroke treatment. Some of the most commonly reported personality changes are:
- Becoming irritable and impatient
- Becoming introspective and withdrawn
- Showing more stress and anger
- Becoming aggressive, either physically or verbally
- Showing loss of inhibitions, for instance, swearing or making unsuitable comments
- Showing loss of interest in aspects of the life they once enjoyed
- Becoming impulsive – making sudden, sometimes rash and unpredictable decisions
Are These Changes Permanent?
Personality changes after stroke can be distressing for survivors as well as their family members and friends. However, they are not always permanent as it depends on what the personality change is.In most cases, the patients tend to get better with time.Moreover, with the array of anti-depressant drugs and the increasing accessibility of support groups and talk therapies, these situations can be avoided.In a condition involving inappropriate behavior or impulsiveness, behavioral intrusions may help, for example, constantly reminding the survivor to behave well.
The personality changes that are caused by a stroke can be intense for every individual concerned, and there is no assurance that the changes will go away. Of course, this situation is full of guilt, despair, anger, shame, and depression — and not just for the survivor, but also people who are close to them. It’s best for a stroke patient to stay active and always be surrounded by people who can manage their personality changes without being reactive.
At times, the difference in stroke patient’s behavior is aimed only at the individuals who are closest. This is quite normal as it is human nature for people to only reveal the more difficult parts of themselves to the individuals they are closest to. This is because people who are close to an individual tend to be more forgiving than strangers. However, if the behavior is extreme, it can isolate the stroke patient. In cases where stroke survivors do not realize that their personality has changed, it becomes difficult for them to cope up with the changes and are unable to lead a healthy life.
After experiencing a stroke, every patient needs to find their own way of coping with personality changes. Sudden changes in personality are not always permanent, and there are things that a person can do control them.The most significant thing a patient can do is get a brain stroke treatment from leading hospital offering world-class healthcare services. Hospitals like Max Healthcare provide the best stroke treatment and promise a speedy recovery. The dedicated staff also informs about the possible changes in the personality that the patient may experience post-treatment to keep them alert.