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Emotional reactions after a stroke may be different from normal emotional reactions.
People who have had a stroke-usually in the front part of the brain or in the brain stem-can suddenly cry or laugh for no clear reason. When the behavior has nothing to do with what a person is feeling or doing, it is called pseudobulbar affect (PBA).
Crying can also be a symptom of depression, which is a medical condition that often gets better with treatment. If depression is not treated, it can interfere with recovery. And it can have a big impact on how much a person enjoys life.
People who have had a stroke may act differently. A person may:
This is more likely to occur when someone has to stay in bed for long periods of time. And it is more likely to be a problem at night. A radio playing softly in the bedroom or a dim light beside the bed may be helpful during the night.
If you notice that your loved one has a sudden change in emotions or mental state, it may be delirium. If you have questions or concerns, call your doctor.
Other Works ConsultedTowfighi A, et al. (2016). Poststroke depression: A scientific statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke, published online December 8, 2016. DOI: 10.1161/STR.0000000000000113. Accessed April 5, 2017.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerRichard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and RehabilitationColin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
Current as ofJune 7, 2017
Current as of: June 7, 2017
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Richard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation & Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
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