Emotional problems

 

If the part of your brain that normally controls your emotions becomes damaged by a stroke, the result can be a change in how you think, feel or behave.

Don’t be surprised if you feel anxious, depressed, frustrated, angry or bewildered.All of these feelings are common.

You might experience:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • emotionalism
  • personality changes
  • anger.

Anxiety

If you are anxious you will probably have feelings of fear or unease. This can be accompanied by sweating, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness and tremor. Anxiety can very suddenly arise, or may develop slowly over a long period of time.

A good start to reducing feelings of anxiety is to seek out information. Being informed takes away the fear that arises from uncertainty and gives you some control over your situation.

If anxiety is affecting your recovery or distressing you, your GP can help access the right therapy for you.

Emotionalism

Since your stroke, you may have become more emotional than usual and/or have difficulty controlling your emotions. This is called emotionalism.

You will probably find you suddenly have very intense emotional reactions when talking to people, watching television, carrying out tasks, or even thinking.

Try talking openly about your experience. Sometimes talking to someone can be very therapeutic and can help you understand what you are going through.

Personality changes.

A stroke can cause changes to your personality so that to others you may seem like a different person altogether.

Try to take on board other people’s comments. If you have changed, others around you may need a little time to adjust to the new you.

Anger

You’re bound to feel some anger and frustration after a stroke. It’s a normal part of the recovery process – a sign that you are aware of the changes the stroke has caused to your everyday life.

But you might find you experience anger much more frequently.

Usually, your anger will become less severe over time. If this is not happening, or you have concerns that you are behaving aggressively, speak to your GP.

 

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