Chris DeWald: Stroke and emotional changes
Hello, my friends and also my religious enemies. What a way to start an article besides with friends. Seems I made some religious enemies from my article on melanoma, and my immediate reaction was not favorable. That shall be revealed later, but is relevant to how we as stroke survivors deal with complex emotions.
According to one source, http://www.paxilprogress.org/forums/showthread.php?t=20421
What is Emotional Lability?
Emotional lability is the term used when someone is more emotional and/or has difficulty controlling their emotions. It can happen with many neurological conditions and often happens after a stroke. Some people describe feeling as though all their emotions are “much nearer the surface” or more exaggerated after their stroke. For example some people may become upset more easily, or cry at things they would not have cried at before their stroke. Their emotional response is in line with their feelings, but is much stronger than before the stroke. For other people the symptoms can be more exaggerated, and some people find that they cry for little or no reason. Less commonly, people laugh rather than cry, but again the emotion is out of place and does not match how they are feeling at the time.
What causes emotional lability?
Emotional lability is caused by the damage done by the stroke. Chemical changes within the brain can cause psychological and emotional changes. Frequently, difficulties with swallowing and tongue movements coincide with emotional lability. If this is the case a Speech and Language Therapist may help to accurately identify emotional lability.
Here I am again !!! Now that I just provided you one term, the following information is more prevalent. http://www.tree.com/health/stroke-emotions.aspx
Surprises Stroke Emotional Aspects: Depression, Anger?
Having a stroke causes emotional difficulties for both the patient and family members. Anger and anxiety are common responses to the permanent limitations and loss of independence caused by a stroke. Further, the slow and sometimes tedious pace of rehabilitation can cause lack of motivation that, if left unchecked can develop into depression.
This is not just out of facts, I had it. The anger was mean and powerful. Being told I could not be employed anymore at 50 years old was impossible. Being told I was lucky I was saved for a reason and should be dead was not a compromise. Telling yourself, This was not true, and in a week all will be well, did not come about. I confirm the first part of this article.
Personality Type and Stroke
Surprisingly, personality type plays a large role in stroke rehabilitation. People who react well to stress, control anxiety, and are generally optimistic about life before a stroke are most likely to react well to life after the stroke. People whose personality type makes them prone to anger, anxiety, or depression, or who lack motivation usually find stroke rehabilitation difficult and discouraging.
On the other hand, personality type is vulnerable to change after a stroke. While any stroke victim is at risk of depression, sudden signs of anger, anxiety, and uncontrolled crying in people who were previously adept at handling stress may indicate that the stroke has caused a personality change.
Lack of Motivation and Signs of Depression
Stroke rehabilitation can be slow, painful and frustrating. When stroke survivors do not see the improvements they hope for, they are more likely to lose motivation. Lack of motivation is a normal reaction to setbacks. However, when a lack of motivation persists and impairs progress in rehabilitation or if the lack of motivation spreads to other areas of life, it may indicate depression.
Signs of depression in stroke survivors should be reported to health care professionals as soon as possible. If depression is left untreated, stroke survivors may become suicidal.
Signs of depression include
•lack of motivation
•increase or decrease in appetite
Now, this list is fine, I feel, as a general rule. But as a “stroker,” I did not have lack of motivation. I wanted to get back to work … and you, as a stroke survivor, will get busted by a neuropsychologist if you try to lie yourself on a work release. I did lie, and that is not good. An Increase or decrease of appetite occurs? Hello, hospital jello stinks. Had a brain stem injury? Enjoy liquid IV fluids. Have sadness? Really? You just lost half your body somewhere. You can see where I am headed. I feel these are normal serious stroke reactions. So bring them anyway to your physician’s attention. Tell your caregiver, they need to know from you.
Anger, Anxiety, and Depression in Caregivers
Anger, anxiety, and signs of depression are common in caregivers as well as stroke patients. The restrictions and changes to routine and family life can cause frustration and anxiety in any family member. A stroke patient whose personality tends towards anger and depression, or whose personality changes radically, can leave caregivers feeling angry and resentful. This anger at times turns into guilt (“How can I be angry at him? He’s the one who’s sick . . . “), which can result in increased stress and depression.
See that, caregivers. You deserve a hand and lots of praise.
Time To Share
They mystery feelings I had when I began this article shall now be revealed. I was not the only one to be singled out by a person or people that I now forgive. I thought you readers should see what is out there as food for thought.
There was this first strike at me. I want to warn the readers. The article can be highly offensive. It contains pictures that may be offensive. It also contains racial hatred.
They even photoshopped my melanoma.
Was I alone? The answer is no, and they struck out at a deceased young lady also.
This stroker went through all the emotions mentioned. I contacted via e-mail every form of government, state and federal, as I felt that no person should be subjected to this agenda. Tax-exempt status? Good Morning, America … I love you, readers, and I do forgive them. I just wish the government had a set.
A set of what? Sorry, I am a forgiving man.
Column by Chris DeWald