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compulsive behavior after a stroke

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My dad had a stroke back in september. It was a really bad one. After months of therapy, he is able to walk on his own. He has no use of his left arm. My problem is, he is extremely compulsive. He was not this way before the stroke. He will call us over and over again about the same things, until you give him the answer he wants. I don't believe its a memory thing, since he calls all his children with the same issues, over and over again. He also just started complaining of headaches. The doctors have put him on a new medicine to help with migraines. He did have another small stroke this past weekend. So, my questions are:

1. is compulsive behavior a side effect of a stroke, and can we do anything to stop this.

2. after a major stroke, is it typical to have mini strokes.

Thank you for any information you can provide.
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replied March 24th, 2011
Hello and thank you for posting your health query on E health Forum.

Any major stroke is always associated with mini-strokes, specially in presence of uncontrolled predisposing conditions like hypertension, vascular thrombotic disorders, etc.

Of all the areas of life that stroke affects, its impact on the survivor’s personality may be the most difficult for family and friends to understand and become accustomed to. Emotional changes are typical after any type of stroke.

Some important changes include
1. Depression - the most common emotional change after stroke.

2. Cognitive Challenges
Cognitive deficits are changes in thinking, like difficulty solving problems. This category also includes dementia and memory problems, as well as many kinds of communication challenges.

3. Personality Changes
Some survivors experience apathy and don’t seem to care about anything. People often mistake this for depression because survivors are content to sit and stare at the wall all day.
The best response to help them is to get them active and moving. Give them a choice of what to do or where to go, but make it clear they have to choose to do something, they can’t just lie in bed.

Personality changes after stroke can be distressing to survivors and family members alike, but they are not always permanent. It really depends on what the personality change is Sometimes they mellow out.

Your father might benefit by consultation with a rehabilitation psychologist, who can diagnose the underlying issue and treat it accordingly.

I hope this helps.


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