Emotional Changes after a Stroke

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Right Hemispheric Ischemic Stroke

Right Hemispheric Ischemic Stroke

Stroke is loss of brain function caused by the blockage of blood to the brain. Men are 25 percent in the risk of developing this condition. Two-thirds of deaths caused by this condition take place in people above the age of 65 years. If nonfatal, the condition is known to cause physical damage which is pretty evident. But, very few people are aware of the fact that the condition can also cause changes in our feelings.

Emotional Changes After a Stroke:
  • There are several interconnected pathways leading to different parts of the brain. Each of these parts has a specific role to play.
  • There is a section in the brain which is associated with the controlling of our emotions.
  • When a blockage of blood to this section takes place, it leads to stroke and as a consequence, even after the recovery, the patient suffers from emotional changes.
  • Also, stroke attacks an individual without warning. The physical damage caused to the person changes the normal life lead in the past and a new life filled with challenges lies ahead.
  • For many, coming to terms with this reality itself present a cause for depression.
  • The realization that one no more is independent to take care of self and is dependent on others affects the sense of self esteem.
  • Owing to these reasons, one of the most common emotional changes post stroke is depression.
  • Others signs are anxiety, anger and having difficulty in controlling emotions.
  • Some of the reasons for feeling anxious are disability to drive, inability to return to work, fear of falling, worrying about the side effects of medications, and feeling embarrassed in social situations owing to the constant seeking of health from others.
  • Anger can lead to consequences like impatience, irritability, using swear words, impulsiveness and showing physical and mental signs of aggression.
  • Getting things wrong, finding self in an embarrassing position, constantly receiving of help from others and the inability of others to respond promptly every time can cause anger in the person.
  • Such undesirable responses lead to decline in the strength of the immune system, raise in the blood pressure and digestive problems.
  • Depression and addiction follow as a natural consequence if the person is left al;one or ignored, further adding to the complications.
Coping Techniques to Deal with the Emotional Changes Post Stroke:
  • The direct influence of the emotional changes in a patient is seen in the loved ones who have the responsibility of taking care of the patient.
  • But, it might prove challenging at times to deal with rude behaviors or tantrums from the patient.
  • The family members can remain firm but polite and make it clear that rude behavior is not acceptable.
  • They can suggest the friends also to explain the same to the patient for making two-prong impact.
  • At times simply walking away proves beneficial and effective in making an impact on the patient.
  • The word “I” should be used instead of the word “you”. For instance, “I feel really upset when we argue” spells a positive impact instead of statements like “You really upset me”.

Reference:
stroke.org.uk

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