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Chsnfg, March 30,  2021  9:04pm EST

Personality change. From the stroke or the trauma?

I had my stroke in 2019. A friend was visiting and I, by the grace of God, was taken to the hospital and received the TPA shot very quickly. My recovery was hard for me. My impairments were stubtle but terrorizing for me... speech challenges, struggles with math, memory, and just challenges with like keeping just keeping track of time. I kept my stroke and struggles a secret from those outside of my family because I didn't want my career to be damaged... my co-workers knew I had a medical emergency but assumed it was a heart attack (I was a heathy young woman). I suffered from panic attacks for a good six months.. I never knew what they were and they are crippling. I'd pull over on the side of the road and talk myself out of dialing 911.  It took me a year to feel close to fully mentally productive.  My stroke was "cryptogentic" but the fertility drugs I was taking was an assumed catalyst. I've since had the PFO closure and well that's it... all of my drs have pretty much set me free...  freak event... pfo closed.... no more follow ups.
While I feel like I'm just as productive and capable as I was before the stroke, I feel my personality has changed. I have very little patience. I'm less interested in my friends. And my sweet man has experienced my distance. I seem so normal but feel ...not myself. Is this the stroke or is it the trauma?? I don't know. I cannot bring myself to talk to a professional because uhhhg I can't stand thought of talking to anyone..  I think I'm broken.. and I'm going to start losing people who care about me. I don't know what to I keep chugging along.  


3 Replies
  • AHAModerator
    AHAModerator, March 31,  2021  9:41am EST

    Hello there,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and your experience with stroke with the patient support network. You have been through a great deal and I not surprised that you are having issues with panic attacks and these feelings you've described. This is actually a very common discussion that we have in the community. I can share the information we have on Stress Management. I also think there are a few options like yoga, meditation and/or therapy that can help. Finding the right medication can take a while as well. It really is a matter of trial and error until your doctor finds the right drug that works with your body chemistry.

    Please know that you are not alone and that we are here to help you through this time.

    Best wishes,

    AHA Moderator

  • Ashutosh
    Ashutosh, April 3,  2021  5:50am EST

    I too suffered a stroke in 2016, when I was 58 years old. Though quite severe I have recovered almost fully. It was quite shocking as I was, and still am, very fit - walking, gym, running, squash,swimming before stroke and walking and gym since. Seems a small clot on my shin from a very minor motorcycle accident dislodged and passed through a PFO into the brain. Surprisingly my doctor in South Africa advised against closure of the PFO. He felt I had lived with it for so long that the trauma of closing it would not be worth it. But otherwise I am fine and enjoy tremendous support from my wife, two sons and both daughters in law. I am sure having the family around me helped speed up my recovery treendously. Am sure you will find it in yourself to overcome this sense of just "chugging along"  and go back to enjoying your life fully and uninhibitedly

  • axnr911
    axnr911, April 8,  2021  2:48pm EST

    I know you don't want to talk to anyone, but my advice is to ignore that feeling and go anyway.  I had a lot of anxiety and depression after my stroke, and I saw a counselor for 2 or 3 months, maybe once every week or two.  It was wonderful to "unload" on what I was going through.  And she gave me some tips on dealing with the anxiety and helped me get to the root of my depressive thoughts.  Medicare paid for this, so it didn't end up costing me anything, either.  If possible, try it.  I'll remember you in my prayers tonight.  Love, Jeanne

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