Posts Tagged Personality changes

[Guide] LIFE AFTER STROKE Our Path Forward – American Stroke Association

THERE IS LIFE – AND HOPE – AFTER STROKE. WITH TIME, NEW ROUTINES WILL BECOME SECOND NATURE. REHABILITATION CAN BUILD YOUR STRENGTH, CAPABILITY AND CONFIDENCE. IT CAN HELP YOU CONTINUE YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES DESPITE THE EFFECTS OF YOUR STROKE.

If you are the caregiver, family member or friend of a stroke survivor, your role is vital. You should know the prevention plan and help your loved one to comply with the plan. With a committed health care team and a rehabilitation plan specific to their needs, most stroke survivors can prevent another stroke and thrive.

We hope this guide will help you and your loved ones understand the effects of stroke and how to maximize your rehabilitation and recovery.

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[WEB SITE] Different but the Same: Emotional Changes After Stroke

When someone survives a stroke, a family feels relief, happiness, and joy. But no one can be prepared for the perplexing wave of emotions that a stroke survivor experiences.Although emotional changes after stroke are typical, the impact on a survivor’s personality may be the most difficult to deal with.  For caregivers and families, it’s important to remember that stroke causes trauma to the brain and that the behaviors and responses displayed are a reflection of that injury.

Recognizing and coping with the behavioral changes that accompany stroke are just as important as addressing physical issues during the rehabilitation process. Emotional reactions are complicated by the array of sensory and motor disabilities that follow brain damage from stroke. Survivors struggle with deficits in language, reading, writing, speech, memory, judgment, planning and so much more. These cognitive problems can weigh heavy on stroke survivors and their families. Conflict may arise when the survivor feels misunderstood or utter despair over the loss of physical capabilities.

While some emotions are “normal” responses to biological and lifestyle changes after stroke, other feelings may signal a more serious problem.

To help you understand what your loved one is going through, here are the most common emotional reactions that accompany stroke:

  • Emotional lability – Following a stroke, the person may seem like a stranger: survivors may respond one way immediately after the event, only to respond differently a week or two later. Soon after stroke, the person may struggle to control his or her emotions. Survivors are said to be “emotionally labile”, meaning they are prone to strong feelings and rapid mood swings. The person may embark on fits of laughing or tears that do not fit’s their mood or seem inappropriate for the situation. They may be happy and sad in only a few minutes.
  • Impulsivity – Stroke survivors can be impatient and impulsive. Because areas of the brain are disinhibited, stroke survivors may be more impulsive. They fail to think ahead, or move too quickly – possibly causing themselves or those around them harm in the process. Caregivers should be especially watchful for this reaction when makingdecisions about a stroke survivor’s ability to drive a car.
  • Anxiety – Anxiety is considered a “normal” reaction to lifestyle adjustment following stroke. As a person begins to cope with their new disabilities, they may feel a sense of loss that triggers anxious feelings.  Anxiety is frequently associated with periods when a person is left along for a period of time. Fears can arise of another medical emergency, their growing dependence on caretakers, and helpless for their condition.
  • Self-centered behavior – Insensitivity to others is commonly seen in post-stroke patients. Many survivors become largely concerned with their own interests and exhibit inflexible, rigid thinking. This lack of empathy can contribute to demanding behavior. Caregivers can feel as if the person is impossible to reason with, which could result in the breakdown of family ties and important social bonds.
  • Apathy – Stroke survivors may be content with sitting around for hours without doing nothing at all. While this lack of motivation may be alarming to caregivers, apathy is a consequence of damaged brain areas. Stroke survivors may lack initiative and show little feeling or interest in activities. It’s important to note, however that apathy is different than being tired or depressed: An apathetic person feels content with their state of being, whereas a depressed person feels despair.
  • Depression – Depression is a common reaction following any life-altering event, including stroke. Survivors may feel a sense of sorrow for activities they were previously able to do. Many question their self-worth; people value themselves through their activities. A loss of identity can result in depression, anger and frustration. Both patients and family members may cycle through the stages of the grieving process (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).

Post-stroke depression is characterized by:

  • Feelings of sadness
  • A sense of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Increased irritability
  • Changes in eating, sleeping and thought patterns

Treatment for post-stroke depression may be necessary. If the person’s depressive symptoms worsen over time, interfere with daily functioning, or include suicidal thoughts and ideation – consult a medical professional immediately. A range of therapies and treatment options are available to help.

Are post-stroke personality changes permanent?

Personality changes that occur after a stroke are often the hardest to deal with. Luckily, not all changes are permanent. As the recovery process advances, some reactions may disappear. The person may “mellow out” over time as he or she builds coping skills and adjusts to life as a stroke survivor.

How to cope with changing behaviors after stroke:

  • Be patient. Have understanding that your loved one is facing many challenges and in most cases, cannot help behaving in undesirable ways.
  • Remind yourself that these behaviors are a part of the brain injury. Stay strong for your loved one – your support is important.
  • If your loved one is having angry outbursts, try to find what triggers him or her. It could help prevent future incidents.
  • Stay calm. Avoid raising your voice when you talk to the person and take a time out if you need to deal with the problem alone.
  • Talk with other family members about the changes your loved one is going through. Educate them on what to look for and how they can help if your loved one is having an especially bad day.
  • Seek counseling or join a support group. Working through your frustrations with others who are in similar situations can be helpful and healing.
  • Discuss personality changes with your healthcare provider. You doctor can help you assess your loved one’s health condition and provide recommendations on post-stroke recovery.

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[WEB SITE] Why Has My Sister’s Personality Changed Since Her Traumatic Brain Injury? – brainline.org

QUESTION: My sister was in a car crash a couple of years ago. Since the wreck, her temperament has changed drastically. She is very snappy toward her children and blames them for everything wrong in her life. She just doesn’t seem to get any pleasure out of life and we are all worried about her lack of visible emotion. Any suggestions on how we might help her?

ANSWER: Personality changes like your sisters are not uncommon following a traumatic brain injury. After all, how we think and process the world is so much of who we are. Temperament is essentially the way our brain interprets the world around us. With a brain injury, the mechanisms we use to filter and understand information are disrupted. Personality changes can come from two sources following a brain injury:

  • specific changes in how the brain experiences, understands, modulates, and expresses emotion
  • emotional reactions to the changes brought about by the brain injury

Brain injury can affect connections that go from the cerebral cortex (the thinking part of the brain) to the limbic system (a series of inner brain structures that control and modulate emotion). These connections allow us to evaluate our emotional reactions, determine how important or minor events are, and decide on a response that matches the demands of the situation. When these connections are impaired, our emotional reactions are different from what they were prior to the injury, and are not always in tune with the situation at hand.

In addition to this, a brain injury can be emotionally traumatic. People respond with anxiety, frustration, anger, sadness, and depression to their changed capabilities and life circumstances. It’s normal for people to mourn the life they once had and try to find ways to cope with their new life and personality. These responses are affected by the potentially impaired connections described above, and may result in emotional extremes.

It is not unusual for the person with a brain injury and/or his or her family to need some counseling or therapy to understand this new identity, personality, and emotional reaction style. The person with TBI, like your sister, may work on learning strategies to better express emotions, avoid those situations likely to be particularly frustrating, read signs of emotional distress, and react in a calmer manner to emotionally charged situations. You can help by learning strategies to de-escalate your sister’s emotional outbursts, redirect her anger and frustration, understand the meaning behind a particular emotion (or lack thereof), and help create a calming environment for all concerned. A therapist or counselor may also recommend exploring the option of medication, depending on the nature and severity of your sister’s personality challenges.

Source: Why Has My Sister’s Personality Changed Since Her Traumatic Brain Injury?

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[WEB SITE] Coping with Behavior Problems after Head Injury

Identifying Behavior Problems

Head injury survivors may experience a range of neuro ­psychological problems following a traumatic brain injury. Depending on the part of the brain affected and the severity of the injury, the result on any one individual can vary greatly. Personality changes, memory and judgement deficits, lack of impulse control, and poor concentration are all common. Behavioral changes can be stressful for families and caregivers who must learn to adapt their communication techniques, established relationships, and expectations of what the impaired person can or cannot do.In some cases extended cognitive and behavioral rehabilitation in a residential or outpatient setting will be necessary to regain certain skills. A neuropsychologist also may be helpful in assessing cognitive deficits. However, over the long term both the survivor and any involved family members will need to explore what combination of strategies work best to improve the functional and behavioral skills of the impaired individual.

Personality Changes

Even a person who makes a “good” recovery may go through some personality changes. Family members must be careful to avoid always comparing the impaired person with the way he/she “used to be.” Personality changes are often an exaggeration of the person’s pre-injury personality in which personality traits become intensified. Some changes can be quite striking. It may be, for example, the head injury survivor used to be easy going, energetic, and thoughtful and now seems easily angered, self-absorbed, and unable to show enthusiasm for anything. Nonetheless, try not to criticize or make fun of the impaired person’s deficits. This is sure to make the person feel frustrated, angry, or embarrassed.

Continue —> Coping with Behavior Problems after Head Injury | Health Records

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[WEB SITE] Coping with Behavior Problems after Head Injury | Family Caregiver Alliance

…Head injury survivors may experience a range of neuro­psychological problems following a traumatic brain injury. Depending on the part of the brain affected and the severity of the injury, the result on any one individual can vary greatly. Personality changes, memory and judgement deficits, lack of impulse control, and poor concentration are all common. Behavioral changes can be stressful for families and caregivers who must learn to adapt their communication techniques, established relationships, and expectations of what the impaired person can or cannot do.

In some cases extended cognitive and behavioral rehabilitation in a residential or outpatient setting will be necessary to regain certain skills. A neuropsychologist also may be helpful in assessing cognitive deficits. However, over the long term both the survivor and any involved family members will need to explore what combination of strategies work best to improve the functional and behavioral skills of the impaired individual…

μέσω Coping with Behavior Problems after Head Injury | Family Caregiver Alliance.

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