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Stroke: Behaviour Changes

Topic Overview

Depending on what part of the brain was affected by a stroke, the way a person acts may be different from how he or she acted before the stroke.

A person who was very concerned about details before a stroke may become sloppy and care little about personal appearance after a stroke. Because these problems may be annoying, it is easy to think that there is an emotional or psychological problem. In some cases, that may be true. But also consider:

  • There may be a problem with memory. Someone who fails to bathe or change clothes may need a checklist on the bathroom mirror as a reminder.
  • There may be a behaviour problem. The person may not respond appropriately in social situations. Inappropriate behaviour should be discussed immediately and in a matter-of-fact way.

If your family member has judgment problems:

  • Remember that nagging or getting angry only makes things worse.
  • Tell the person immediately when he or she does something wrong.
  • Be sure to acknowledge when he or she does the "right" thing.
  • Talk with your doctor to see if medicines might help treat the problem.

Credits

Current as of:
March 4, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Karin M. Lindholm DO - Neurology
Richard D. Zorowitz MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation