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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:

  • 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.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology
Last Revised January 3, 2013

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