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Personality Change


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I had a friend over to stay with me for a few days, although she lives in Germany she has known me for 20 years.

We were talking about my SAH and she said that there are a lot of personalty changes in me, I knew that I had changed but never really discussed this with anyone.

I actually don't like some parts of me that have changed, I use to be so assertive and now I am completely the opposite. She felt that I keep things bottled up where as before I would just talked about things but she felt the sad part for her to see me, was that there is a certain saddness within me.

I guess some good as come out of the SAH I don't fret over little things anymore, before if someone made a comment about me I would get so angry but now I just let it go. I use to worry so much about finances, (well, who doesn't) and now I don't let it bother me.

I really would like to know from others whether SAH has changed their personalities.

Myra xx

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You'd really have to ask the "carers" about the change in us, although as we've all been through a profoundly life changing experience it would be stranger if we hadn't changed in some way. I am quicker to anger but less likely to worry about the bigger picture than before, small things matter more because I think I can control those in a way I can't control things like the SAH.

Those around me tell me I have changed but no one can tell me how that manifests itself. We have the added burden of possible "brain damage" to carry around with us, no one can tell us how it will affect us personally because not enough is known about the long term outcomes about a condition that used to kill the majority of people who suffered it. Now medical science has moved on the difference between clipping and coiling is a grey area in terms of psychological outcomes. Even as surgery had/has progressed in the 10/15 years before coiling became available to mean that the balance of "survivability" was tipped in our favour the focus was/is on getting us physically "better". I would like to think that now is the time for a large scale study on the mental health aspects for those who have gone through SAH and the need not only to treat but to inform the patient of the possible outcomes.

When I came home my GP told me that he was told to give me anti-depressants which he didn't feel I needed. How many of you are on similar medication? Why? What type of pill did your GP give you on release from hospital? I was extremely fortunate that my post hospital support was top notch with an OT, Neuro-Physio, Neuro-Psyc, and access to HeadWay. Only then did my family begin to find out what "problems" I was left with, how many out there are left with problems they know nothing about? I have no sense of taste or smell, something that we didn't know about until three months post release, wasn't even discussed but has profoundly affected my life. Other areas like memory were well explained and coping methods put in place. My point is there is no "standard" routine set up for us once we come out of the cloistered establishment that hospitals are. Everyone is different and no two recoveries are the same is what we all hear, but as we all know there are LOTS of similarities in us all and there should be something to ease the change back into normality.

I know I've rambled off topic, but the sense of not being the same person is something that 90% of us suffer from so it should be addressed by the medical health professionals.

Scott

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Hi Myra :D

I think i have been very lucky.....apart from losing confidence and panicking more about things....i am much the same person...or so my family and friends say! I do look at life differently and appreciate every thing!

I did get very down a few times, and pushed people away...i think it is coming to terms with the new person you are...what you cant do the same as before, very frustrating!........i am trying to accept this and adapt....i just want my life back...as we all do!

My Doctor offered me anti-depressants....which i did not want...it is a year for me now.....and i am feeling better in myself........so time will tell!

Myra ...you have been through such alot....and you have had to cope alot on your own....i think you have done amazingly......maybe the things your friend has pointed out to you, you can address.....but take your time and do what is right for you! One step at a time.....Still early days...

Take care

Lots of love to you

Love Tina xxxxx

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Thank you Scott and Tina for your answers.

I do agree with you Scott that this should be addressed to the medical professionals.

My carers are my 2 sons, they are a big help but I feel I cannot talk much to them about my SAH, my elder son Asim told me that he too has changed when my SAH happend I think that we often forget how this effects the children involved. I have certainly seen a change in him and it is also one of the reasons that I have decided not to have the coiling done on the other aneurysm here but to go to Germany and have it done where my husband is residing.

I never was offered anti-depressants by my own GP but even I was I don't think I would of taken them.

We appear normal to people but at the same time we are not, some physical disibilites might be apparent but not the mental part and I certainly feel by certain people that I should not talk about it apart from this website.

I started to think about everything that has happend over the 9 months, I did go and see a councellor a few weeks ago but I don't think that it is for me really, she kept saying to me that "you are in denial" which I don't think I am because SAH is pretty much apparent to me everyday with my balance, speech and weakness in my leg.

On a lighter note here, Asim did mention to me that before my SAH I never really laughed and now he sees me and he feels that I am laughing from my heart.

Myra xx

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HI MYRA

TOO HAVE HAD PERSONALITY CHANGES, QUIKER TO ANGER, MORE VERBAL I TEND TO BLURT OUT THINGS AND I NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE THIS BEFORE.

AS FAR AS THE MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL AND I USE THE TERM LIGHTLY, THEY SHOULD LOOK INTO THE AFFECTS BUT I FEAR ALL THEY WILL WANT TO DO IS MEDICATE US I DON'T NEED MEDS JUST UNDERSTANDING.

AS FAR AS THE COUNCELLOR GOES YOU HAVE TO ASK YOURSELF HOW MANY CASES OF SAH SURVIVORS HAVE THEY TREATED, AND CONSIDERING HOW MUCH THEY KNOW ABOUT US I FEEL IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT YOU ARE NOT IN DENIAL, THEY ARE WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE TO HELP YOU.

THAT IS MY TWO CENTS WORTH.

DON'T LET IT GET YOU DOWN YOU ARE A WONDERFUL PERSON AND ARE JUST GOING THROUGH A NEW EXPERIENCE.

BIG HUG FOR YOU LOVE EVELYN

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Scott, I totally agree with your reply ..... research needs to be done, in terms of recovery ..... both mental and physical..... I would have much preferred to have had a more realistic perspective of how the SAH was going to affect me .... When I look back, to the day I left the hospital and how poorly I was, it makes me cringe now .... the lack of help and the lack of information on my recovery..... I still find it upsetting... and maddening....

As for personality change ..... then I don't think that I have changed much ..... I'm still the same person that I was .... but something as life changing as a SAH is bound to affect you ..... When you wake up one day and your life is turned upside down, then it's going to impact on how you view things.

I realised how fragile life was and still view life that way..... it's a burden .....and it weighs heavy on me..... May be the positive is, that I'm more spontaneous then I used to be and tend to live for the day ..... but on the other hand, I still don't like to plan too far ahead ... which is probably annoying to those around me .....

I definetly don't sweat the small stuff anymore ..... I didn't really do that much before the SAH and tend to adopt the "mañana" approach and that tomorrow is another day and unimportant things can wait.....

For me, it's taken 2 years to restore some kind of balance to my life and regain the confidence that comes with time ..... Myra, it does take time to start to restore the status quo...... I'm sure that I was a lot different in my first 2 years of recovery, to what I'm like now ..... A lot of factors come into play during the early years of recovery, anxiety for one ..... I know that even though I've had to undergo change, I've adapted to it, but the old Karen is still around .....

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Hi there Myra I am almost back to how I was before but I don't think anyone can get back completely like Karen said it is bound to change our lives.

However I now do plan things quite along way ahead now like the trip to spain next september I woudn't of done that at the start.

It's early days yet Myra I wouldn't let it worry you. Jess.xxx

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HI! and thanks for bringing up this topic.

I'm beginning to really address it now, 7 months post clipping. I believe that before I was more focused on survival issues but since I am realizing it´s true I´m going to be around a little longer than I expected, I guess it´s coming up.

I am the same and yet I am not. I believe this paradox can only be fully understood by someone who feels the same way. A therapist can show me coping tools, open new perspectives and be very helpful, but I believe the work to be done is up to me in the long run. I try to release too-high expectations on others because I always end up feeling short-changed.

I have spent the last week laughing. I suspect my family worry, because I never used to laugh like this before. Life was too "serious" and there was so much to worry, fret and get angry about. But I like this new laughing me. This also, makes me seek the company of other laughing people, maybe in a way I wouldn´t have done before. The changes in my personality also materialize in my life in these little ways.

I try to focus on staying balanced, just talking about myself it means trying not to tip into extremes. I am more emotional since the SAH and I try to be aware of what I am feeling and not let it rule my behaviour at the same time. I have to watch out for bipolar tendencies. I cannot let the highs get too "high" or the lows too "low", because of the energy and time it takes to get back on the beam when I fall off it.

I find that relaxation techniques, meditation, healthy eating habits and some physical exercise (what I can do and when I can do it) are the best thing to keep me in balance and in the best place. All these things uplift me. I don´t always feel like doing them but it´s important I try. I also need to find time to do things I enjoy doing just for the pleasure of it. I used to carry the world on my shoulders and felt as hunched up as Atlas by the weight of it!!!!! Since the SAH I don't, and though at first realizing the world would still keep on turning without me was a bit depressing...this has turned into a marvellous feeling of relief. From the odd moment of it, to something more permanent. A new perception of life.

Love and hugs to all,

Nurianna

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Guest ElaineW

As a carer I can say that my mum, Maggie's personality has changed very much but oddly I think for the better although it saddens me very much to see what she is incapable of doing in terms of housework and going out etc. She used to have quite a fiery nature and on a short fuse but she is now very laid back and just takes each day as it comes. She seems so vulnerable now when I see her which makes me melt. She is just content to be in her home with her beloved cat and with me around her as often as I can be as her guardian angel (so she says). She was always a person to get on and do things straight away and very indepedent but she is not like that now, the day to day things do not seem to worry her though she does panic at times. She is better when people are around her and goes to pieces at times when she is alone. She started anti-depressants a few weeks ago as she was very tearful, that side of things has improved though I think it may be too early for the tablets to have had any effect. Any more questions just ask.

Elaine

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Hi Myra

Yes I've wondered a lot since I had my SAH if my personality has changed. I keep asking people who are close to me and they say it hasn't but I'm not so sure. I think a lot of what I perceive as changes are more to do with getting overtired and when I do, I need to spend time on my own resting up or otherwise I could get ratty with people. Also some of my ongoing symptoms get me down though not all the time. Most of us have been left with some symptoms to contend with and even if they are mild, I think that can be quite wearing on a day-to-day basis.

But yes I think having such a life-changing event happen to us must change us in some way.

With warm wishes

Anne x

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