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Changed Personality


Guest miss_griff
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Guest miss_griff

Hi all, my mom suffered a SH in February 1999. She was 51 and I was 18 years old, we were out shopping at the time. Whilst we were out my mom had complained of an headache, nothing two paracetomol wouldn't cure, or so I thought...

We went into our local cafe to get a drink so she could take her tablets when suddenly the most horrific thing happened that I will never forget as long as I live. I thought my mom had been taken away by the angels before my very eyes!

She screamed my "brain" and started fitting, we called for an ambulance, who obviously took us to the nearest hospital. Fortunately my mom remained conscious through out but she couldn't bare the bright lights. The hospital ran a series of tests/Scans and 7 hours later confirmed she had suffered a SH. The next day they transferred my mom to a specialist hospital to confirm where the bleed was and what forms of treatment was available, as it was it was right front lobal and was able to have brain surgery to clip the haemorrhage. The operation was very successful but her memory was terribly affected, her speech and movement on the right side of her body. She had to have Speech Therapy and physiotherapy.

The whole process was very touch and go and extremely emotional but very thankfully my mom made a very good recovery and returned back to work after 12 weeks.

My main concern is she is a completely different person to what she was before, she seems to have lost her sparkle, she is a very emotional person now, but doesn't talk about what happened. Everyone who knows what she was like before has noticed the radical change in her. We used to be extremely close as mother and daughter but now our relationship seems very strained and I don't really know what to do?? It breaks my heart to think how we were to how we are now. Has anyone else noticed such personality changes in their loved ones?

Hope to hear from you all soon xx

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Hi miss griff, and welcome to the site,sorry to hear of your mums sah, and her personality change, but this is not unusual, i don't know what advice to give you as i don't think you can change her back to the way she was, this is the new her,My wife merrill had an sah march 27th last year 2 anuerysms 1 clipped 1 coiled and then developed hydrocephalus, and her personality changed ,but for the better i think so, when change takes place it's not always for the worse, merrill never talks about her illness either and never has and this i find at times a bit frustating as i'm sure you do. this is a massive thing that has happened to your mum and i know you are aware of this,merrill goes to a rehab clinic who actually has me in now and then to council me as they say that this is like a berievement, the old merrill is gone and i have to accept the new one, merrill has speech, mobility,memory,and cognative thought problems but with all that she is here and alive, try to see the positives, they are alive and still with us,and we have to change a little to accomodate them,and that is not always easy, Good luck to you both Rod

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Hi there

And warm welcome to the site....

Your Mum had her SAH in the same year as I did....that must have been so scarry for you, returning back to work within 12 weeks wow that was great maybe too fast no time to adjust to things.

Im not the same person I was before, however after speaking with a phycologist who helped me understand what had happened I now like the person that I am.....

One thing that I think is good, is to talk about what happened I think that too helps you understand what has happened to yourself.....

dont know if any of that is relevent....

take care

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Hi there welcome to BTG I have changed quite a bit I won't keep my mouth shut if someone upsets me where as before I would take alot more before snapping. Other than that I can't really comment I don't think I have changed that much, but family members may say different. Jess.xxx

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Hi Miss Griff

Sorry to hear what happened to your mum, and to you; that must have been awful for you to watch it all unfold.

If you don't mind me asking...(you do not have to answer if you don't wish to); Have you had any counselling to work through what you experienced? and how to deal with your 'new' mum? I would imagine that would be good.

Has your mum had any counselling?

Maybe some family therapy also could be an avenue to explore?

I had my SAH in Dec last year, so am still in early stages of recovery really, and I have just gone back to work this week - 11 weeks after my coiling op - and it has been tiring, but I think I am pretty much the same person as I was before, as I don't seem to have any serious after-effects other than tiredness (and headaches & neck pain when tired).

I too, like Jess, am more inclined to tell someone if they upset me now.

Initially I was very angry and emotional but that has got better over the past few weeks (as I am allowed to drive again, have moved back to my flat, am back to work, and back to something approaching 'normal').

I have had 3 sessions with a counsellor and have found that extremely helpful, as I found it helped to have it confirmed/validated that I have suffered trauma and have been suffering with Post-Traumatic-Stress. (I don't think I would have realised this otherwise). And it is okay to feel all the emotions - and this has helped me deal with it more.

However I am very much a person who likes to talk things through, and I do believe it is helpful.

It is a long time for your mum to have bottled up what happened.

I do hope you are able to find support and comfort from this site, and get some answers to questions you may have, or even just some ideas to help or where to go for further help and advice.

Take care

Kel x

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hi sweetheart

i know how you feel big time i was with my lin when it happened lin went down with a bang as she screamed my head i held her until she began to fit so i really do know what you are going through lin was flown to the hospital from outside the house and i really didn't know if i was going to she her again

now i will try and answer your questions the frontal lobe controls most of the emotional aspect of mums brain this is why you explain that mums changed its not surprising that mum is more emotional and the changes people see in her she wont talk about it proberly because she is scared its going to happen again or she dosnt understand what had happened and also that changes have taken place the injury to mums brain is quite extensive but there is always hope that as time goes on things will lighten up so to speak it is a known side effect that people do suffer changes to personalities and relationships all you can do sweetheart is be there for mum and try and take a step back and maybe mum will realize that you are there for her but your not crowding her so to speak

there are groups out there who are able and willing to help both the patient and the family who have gone through it one is headway they are very good if you type in headway on the net you will find out your local head office please give them a call they are very very good they do lots of things to help you all you say mums back at work which is a very good thing but it seems you have so many questions you want answers to headway is one the other is to contact the neurosurgeon's sectary and ask for mum to see a neurophysiology who would help mum quite a bit getting her used to the fact of what had happened mum could be in denial but ?? and talk her through im sorry i have gone on but pm me if you wish just click on my avatar surviving sah is hell on the loved ones who have to pick up the bits so to speak and not have anyone to help you now you have found us use us take care hugs and cuddles things will work out

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Hi there,

I can only really repeat what others have said before me.

Unfortunately, anyone who has the misfortune to have suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage is more than likely to change in some way from the person they once were -whether this be a slight change or something more profound. I personally did not think I had changed at all, but I think it is often the case, that the sufferer is unaware that they are different and sometimes it takes someone on the outside to notice, especially someone as close as you are. My daughter likewise was the only one present, when I had my haemorrhage and although I didn’t have a fit, I very nearly passed out. She also overheard my conversation when I phoned 999, so I think it must be a very scary thing for a family member to witness. I didn’t however, suffer any of the problems that your Mum did, which must have been difficult for you all.

My daughter was a bit younger than you were at the time, (13) and is the only one in the family that comments that I am different now to what I was. I don’t think I can have changed radically like maybe your Mum has, but I am more short-tempered than before, I worry about things a lot more now, which in turn makes me become more anxious. I am frequently getting told by my family members to either “calm down” or “stop worrying”. In fact my daughter, who is now 15 said to me the other day “me and you are supposed to be friends, but how can I be friends with someone who is as mad and weird as you are” – not one for mincing her words!! I tried to convince myself that she had said this because of the fact that she is a teenager rather than me actually being how she perceived me to be, but who knows! As hard as it may be, I think you will just have to accept your “new” Mum the way she is. Try not to blame her, as it probably through no fault of her own, but that of the bleed affecting the part of her brain that operates personality. I know it must be difficult for you, but may be counselling would help you on this one. You are obviously a very caring person and are dealing with a tricky situation, but hopefully things can and will improve for you both. Could you persuade your Mum to join this website, if she has never really talked about it she may find it easier to talk to people in a similar situation? Maybe she hasn’t wanted to burden her family with how she feels. I have been very emotional – in tears over the smallest of things in the 16 months since my sah, but I would say that since joining this site (at the beginning of this year) and having talked to others, I seem to have improved, tears are a lot less frequent and in myself I feel a lot happier and more relaxed – I think just writing your story and getting it off your chest can actually help. According to my daughter I talk about it too much – whilst I believe it helps me to talk, she would prefer not to listen and has recently told me to “build myself a bridge and get over it” and despite this sounding harsh, a friend of mine has told me she is probably scared stiff it might happen again having witnessed it once. Therefore it’s as if she does not want to acknowledge that it ever happened – probably preferring the “old” me to the “new” me, so you can’t always win either by talking or by not talking! Not sure if any of this will have helped, but I wish you all the best for the future.

Sarah,

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Guest miss_griff

Good Morning all, thank you all for your wonderful replies. None of us either my mom or me have had any sort of counselling and yes personally I think it would help us both tremendously. To be honest I wasn't aware that there was such a thing, like others have stated on here, after she had been discharged from hospital we were left to our own devices so to speak.

I will take a look at that "headway" website in a little while as recommended by Paul99 and hopefully that may point me in the right direction. I have also ordered her the book "A Dented Image: Journeys of Recovery from Subarachnoid Haemorrhage" yesterday after seeing on here, maybe that will help too.

To be honest as for not talking about it, she doesn't remember much about it, when she first came round from her op, it wiped out approx the last 20 years of her life, she didn't even know who I was, she thought I was her sister, in front of her I laughed but inside my heart was breaking. Thankfully over time alot of her memory has come back but she still gets very frustrated when she wants to say something that's on the tip of her tongue that she simply just can't get out.

Obviously in the eleven years since this happened alot has happened in our lives, I have had two wonderful children who my mom simply adore, but just to put you in the picture, when I had my first son, my mom was so emotional she couldn't bring herself to come to the hospital to see me or my son. This really upset me at the time, but as soon as I got home she came to see me and cried her eyes out, I think this was for a mixture of reason's.

On the other hand I must say that I am positively looking forward to tomorrow, I am taking her to my local gym to have some beauty treatments as a gift for mothers day and we are going to spend a few hours alone together, which doesn't happen at all these days! maybe I can approach the subject then and see what response I get!

Hope to hear from you all soon xx

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Hi there

Your Mum would have gone back to hospital for scans and such its a wonder she wasnt offered phycologist appt or the likes of going to Headway as you say, I think getting intouch with them is a great idea, they are very good and very helpful...I get intouch even for yourself.

I think thats a great Mothers day gift, have a lovely time, and when you approch the subject tell her that she is in no way alone in how frustrated she feels at not knowing names for things, forgetting stuff, & most of all the change to knows that has happened to herself.....I too have lost about 10/15years of my past and at times it still haunts me but I make the most of what I do have......

take care

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Guest miss_griff

Hi Louise,

You are right she did go back for scan's, I don't recall her being offered any phycologist appt's but then again she may well of been but knowing my mom refused!

I have just had a quick look on Headway's website and it looks fab and even better have a local office just up the road from me so I think I will give them a call.

Thanks again for replying,

Jo xx

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Hi Miss Griff

You've done the right thing coming here and starting to talk about it. I agree with the others, counselling should help. I have 3 children and had my SAH 14.2 09. My daughter was 22, my eldest son 20 and youngest son 17. He was really affected by it.

Before my SAH I was a strong confident person that nothing would phase. Everyone relied on me and came to me for help. I loved social occasions and would work the room. I have lost all my strength, don't do confrontation (as sometimes my brain has no words) and get exhausted in social occasions.

I am having counselling and it's helping so much. I'm understanding that a lot of how I am is to do with the trauma (post traumatic stress disorder) and not necessarily down the physical effects of the SAH. It's a slow process but worth it. My youngest son has now asked for counselling. He can get access to this through his work, he's a civil servant. But you can access this through your GP. Go and speak to him/her and tell your GP how you are feeling.

I have been given a book called Manage Your Mind written by Gillian Butler and Tony Hope. It's not book you read from start to finish but that you "dip into". This has made me realised that I am "normal" in my feelings and how to find strategies to move forward.

What a lovely caring daughter you are, I'm sure you will have a fab day tomorrow.

Take care.

Liz d

Edited by Liz D
spelling!
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Hi there

Yeh, refusing maybe thats what happened if they offered, thats why its better for someone to go with you to appts I find with not understanding and forgetting....

A local Headway well thats good, maybe this is the time to move forward.....

Liz, thats what I was taught when I was seeing the phycologist that I was normal just different now, once I accepted the 'new me' as I called it way back then, then I started to improve in other ways.....

take care

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Hey there

I'm nearly 4 years post SAH and at first I was an emotional wreck. I didn't want to acknowledge what had happened to me, let alone talk about it. I fought the way it made me feel for ages and then realised that if I stopped fighting it and accepted it, it became a lot easier to deal with. The breakthrough for me was seeing a counsellor - it helped more than I could have possibly imagined. It helped me realise that none of this was my fault and there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. I was so angry at what I'd put my family through and how much the SAH had changed me - I couldn't work as hard as I did for long periods of time and I couldn't do all the things I did before. Now, my memory is 95% back to normal, I'm working full time and doing the accounts for my husbands company at the weekend.

It's a highly emotional and traumatic thing to happen and it may be your mum's way of coping with it by shutting down her emotions and not talking about it - however, this is definitely having a knock on effect to your relationship with her. Even this far down the line I think you and your mum would definietley benefit from some sort of counselling.

Send you a huge hug and lots of best wishes

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Guest miss_griff

Hi all, thank you for all your lovely replies. Me and my mom had a wonderful weekend together for mother's day and she thoroughly enjoyed her massage!

We briefly touched on the subject and fortunately her book arrived in time for me to give it to her with her other mother's day gifts, which she was really pleased about and was really looking forward to start reading so fingers crossed this is the start of a new beginning!

Jo xx

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