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Stroke Health Center

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Stroke: Behavior 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:

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It all started with a headache -- pounding pain behind the left eye -- that wouldn't go away. A healthy 37-year-old at the time, Jill Bolte Taylor tried to shake the pain with a cardioworkout. But that didn't work. Feeling rocky, Taylor headed for her shower. She noticed herself losing coordination and struggling with balance -- she had to lean against her shower wall. The shower's roar startled her, and her sense of where her body began and ended was fading. "My perception of myself was that...

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  • 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 behavior problem. The person may not respond appropriately in social situations. Inappropriate behavior 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.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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