Hosted By

Sherry L. Pierce
Author of "I'M OK"




Psychological Effects Of Stroke

A stroke does not affect all aspects of the brain equally. Therefore, in my research Iím finding that this is the reason for the lack of information. No stroke is the same or has the same affect. It depends on the personís health, age, severity of the stroke, recency of the stroke, family support and their surroundings. I know that these statements sound so general but at least, Iím not giving you false believe that there is one single set answerís to the psychological effects of a stroke because there isnít one. The one positive statement that I can give you is that the recovery process of the brain carries no time limitations. Iíve lived this and I continue to recover every day.

Memory and thinking process:

Many stroke affected victims remember day to day events, peopleís names and faces previously. But, may have difficulty learning new things such as instructions or how to find oneís way around a new place. Notes will assist. Some victims may have problem solving issues, which will impair their judgment when making a decision.

Reasoning and task organization may be affected as well. Many people need guidance, help with their budgeting or organization of preparing their meals. Even if they may have been excellent previously with their organizational ability.


Personality is a combination of an individualís thoughts and feelings toward themselves, otherís and their environment. Immediately following a stroke may be very upsetting to family members as well, their loved one may not even seem like the same person as before. Family and relatives need to understand new changes. Problems in activities that once may have been tackled easily are very frustrating for a victim to endure. The way a person reacts to the changes will affect their personality. In many cases a victims control of emotions and behavior is affected. This is caused by the part of the brain that controls your emotion senses is damaged. People affected may seem confused, self-centered, uncooperative and irritated. And may have mood swings. They may not be able to adjust easily and it will seem that they easily become anxious to new situations, tearful and depressed.


Depression often occurs in victims of a stroke. A stroke victim experiences a great loss of their previous self. They feel uncertainties and experience altered feelings about themselves. They mourn the loss of social activities and independence. Depending on the financial situation, financial burden will usually come to play at some point and they will endure feelings of guilt, which will cause depression.

They may loose interest in life, loss of appetite, and lack the desire to participate in things that previously interested them. In some situations depression may even become an obstacle to rehabilitation. The victim needs time and understanding. Depending on the severity of the depression they may need to just have someone to talk with and listen. In some cases a victim may need to consult with a psychologist for counseling and or depression medication.

Loss of motivation:

Decreased or absent motivation and impaired ability to initiate activity may be experienced by stroke. Generally referred to as adynamia, and are a direct result of brain trauma. Stroke suffers may do little beyond self-care tasks and may seem lazy. They may appear to have a lack of initiative in activities. With extra guidance and prompting after time they will have a better view in engaging in familiar activities followed by trying in new activities.


Loss of control over emotional expressions such as laughter or emotional lability.

Physical changes within the brain itself can alter the normal controls over ones emotions. A Stroke victim may laugh or cry uncontrollably for no apparent reason. This will be hard for family and friends to sometimes understand and may find themselves unable to interpret the difference between the laughter and the tears. After time you will learn how to console them accordingly. Be patient and after time these sometimes outbursts will get less frequent in most cases.

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