Stroke: Changes in Emotions

Overview

After a stroke, some people feel like they have lost control of their emotions. These feelings can come from one or both of two causes.

A stroke can affect parts of the brain that control how you feel. You may have emotional reactions that are different from your normal ones. For example, you may have fits of crying or laughing that are out of your control.

Also, a stroke can leave you with upsetting body changes that take away some of your independence. For example, some people may feel:

  • Sad or angry about the loss of the lifestyle they had before.
  • Isolated by speech and language problems.
  • Frustrated by the slow pace of recovery.
  • Worried about the future.

These feelings are normal and expected. But if you think you might be depressed, tell your doctor right away. The sooner you know if you are depressed, the sooner you can get treatment.

Dealing with your emotions

To deal with your emotions:

  • Be easy on yourself. Let go of mistakes.
  • Give yourself credit for the progress you have made.
  • Make time for things that you enjoy.
  • Join a stroke support group. Your rehab team or local hospital can help you find one.

Credits

Current as of: March 28, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Richard D. Zorowitz MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Colin Chalk MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology

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