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PaulaStewart, April 16,  2021  3:32pm EST

My personality has changed

After my mom passed away on Mother's Day 2015, I moved in with my dad and did everything for him concerning arrangements for her and dealt with donating things for months and it was highly stressful. December 12, 2015,  it was a day like every other but little did I know that my life was about to change. My dad and I had been to the grocery store and had just finished putting them away. I was walking to my room and without notice, I dropped to the floor, unable to feel my right side, I opened my mouth to talk to my dad and couldn't speak. He finally put it together that I may be having a stroke and called an ambulance. The paramedics also believed that I was having a stroke. En route to the hospital, I went into v-tach. Upon arrival, the E.R. doctor acted quickly and asked my dad's permission to give me a TPA clot-busting drug and I was life-flighted to a bigger hospital. I regained movement in my right side within hours of having the stroke. My speech was affected for over a month. A little over 5 years later, I still have problems with memory and not being able to find words when I need them. But, more than that, my personality did a 180 and I am a completely different person now. I used to be very happy and a social butterfly. I am rarely truly happy and have become an introvert. I am afflicted with depression and extreme anxiety and incomplete thought processes. Does anyone else experience this and how do you cope on a daily basis?

3 Replies
  • Francisco601
    Francisco601, April 16,  2021  4:53pm EST
    7 Rules of Life.jpg.

    Good day Paula, 

    Thanks for sharing your story, I can imagine how hard has been for you to deal with these physical, cognitive, social, and emotional sequelae. To answer your question: "Does anyone else experience this and how do you cope on a daily basis?", my answer is yes, do not feel alone on this. Since the day of my Stroke back in September 2020 (about 7 months ago) my emotions have changed a lot. I have been trying to cry, to cope better, and vent out, but is almost impossible. I feel emotionally cold, I am not the same as before where my emotions were more sensible. I talked to one of my Doctors, and he said that the shock, trauma, and inflammation in my brain could affect my emotions, every stroke is unique, and it has been hard for me not to feel my emotions as I used to before, I turned colder, is really hard for me to cry, I can be sad and/or depressed, but the crying process is no longer there, it feels weird. On the other hand, some other co-survivors - therapy friends were the opposite, they were crying and sad all the time, anything and anybody could trigger the crying process on them, non-stopping crying. Even my laughing changed, I don't even know how to laugh as I used to before, when I do, it feels awkward and I make weird noises while laughing, like snorting and laughing at the same time, with episodes of breathing pauses. One thing that has helped me a lot to control my emotions and feel more me, is meditation (reflection) of all the positive things that have happened after my stroke, such as I am more aware of the present time, before I used to be more depressed, thinking always in the past, or anxious, worrying for the future. Right now I focus more on the present, one day at a time. I enjoy things more than I ever did, such as nature, the presence of my family, friends, co-workers, people that have assisted me with my rehabilitation, amongst other things. I believe our emotions and personality will come back at the right time, these changes are part of the trauma we had as part of our Brain Strokes. 

    7 Rules of Life

    1.- Smile: It always works out in the end.

    2.- Be Kind: You have the power to make people feel good.

    3.- Don't Give Up: If it doesn't work the first time, find another way (compensate).

    4.- Don't Compare: Everyone's on a different journey. 

    5.- Avoid Negativity: Avoid negative thoughts, situations, and people.

    6.- Make Peace with your Past: Focus on being present and creating a better future. 

    7.- Take Care of your Body and Mind: One struggles to survive without the other. 


    GOD bless you Paula~!


    Jose Francisco Peña

  • pamela121
    pamela121, May 12,  2021  9:20pm EST


    i had 3 strokes, but never realized it, only after going to my second neurologist did he say, you've had 3 strokes, this was when I was like 50...I realized I was forgetting many things, that I would cry, literally balling, all the time..over anything. They say the chemicals in your brain change after strokes, and I have tried a number of antidepressants without too much luck. I am. NOw trying therapy. Who knows, but I had to try to remember that my constant forgetfulness, my lack of finding joy in things, my vestibular issues are now part of me. Acceptance I think is key as well as keep trying, although at present, I just want to say flick it..have your pity parties, your good days and.bad ones, try to get through. The good part about my situation is that I don't dwell on it as I FORGET about it!! Good luck

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