After a stroke, it’s shared for the patient to experience a range of emotions, including anger. While angry and aggressive behavior in a patient can be stressful for caregivers, it’s important that they understand possible causes of the anger and what they can do to minimize it.
The three most shared causes of anger after a stroke are grief, depression and the brain damage caused by the stroke. The treatment method for the anger will depend on its cause.
A stroke can consequence in a meaningful loss for the patient. While some patients make a complete recovery or end up with only minimal impairment, others have a meaningful loss in motor skills, speaking ability and vision. When a patient has lost some of their physical or mental abilities, it can cause the same kind of grief as any other meaningful loss. The traditional five stages of the grieving course of action are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. However, people often don’t go by these stages in a linear fact, instead bouncing from stage to stage.
The only way for a patient to manager anger caused by grief is to go by it. Caregivers can help with this by talking to the patient about their feelings, giving them a therapeutic outlet.
Depression is shared after a stroke, and it can manifest itself with a wide range of symptoms, such as a pessimistic attitude, anxiety, insomnia, a hopeless feeling and anger. It’s important to treat depression and not assume it will simply go away. One of the first ways to treat post-stroke depression is by social sustain. Loneliness is a shared cause of depression, and just spending time with friends and family members can make a patient feel better.
Lifestyle changes can also treat post-stroke depression and, consequently, the anger that results from it. The patient should eat a nutritious, balanced diet, get at the minimum some form of physical activity and take 10 to 20 minutes per day to meditate, which can be very calming. The patient should have some sort of hobby or activity that they enjoy doing, to make their life more fun and exciting. already if the patient can’t return to past activities they enjoyed because of their impairment, they can nevertheless pick up a new hobby.
Brain damage can also consequence in anger after a stroke or other mood swings. In this case, all that caregivers can do is help the patient with their treatments and wait to see if the anger improves. Stroke patients tend to make the majority of their improvements within the first six months after the stroke occurs, and then continue to make smaller improvements over the time of the next associate years.
It is possible that the patient continues to experience anger and make outbursts well after their stroke, especially if it’s brain damage that’s causing the anger. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this, but caregivers can help the patient by handling the situation appropriately.
No matter the cause of the anger, if the patient is feeling angry or lashing out, there are several things a caregiver should do. The first and most important is that the caregiver stays calm and doesn’t meet the patient’s anger with intense emotions of their own. This can be difficult, especially when the patient is a loved one who is making hurtful comments or acting aggressively, but responding emotionally will only escalate the situation. The caregiver should remember that the patient’s behavior is a consequence of the stroke, which can cause them to say things that they don’t average.
Gently redirecting the patient’s attention away from the source of their anger often helps defuse the situation. If the patient is upset because of a physical activity that they can no longer do, it may help to mention new hobbies that they enjoy. Once the caregiver has determined a source of the patient’s anger, they should take steps to avoid situations that will cause it. For example, if the patient is easily disturbed among a crowd of people, it’s best to avoid those types of situations thoroughly.
If the patient becomes violent, the caregiver should exit the situation closest and get help from someone else. Otherwise, when a caregiver remains calm and doesn’t include with the patient, it typically results in the patient ultimately calming down as their anger subsides.
Anger is normal after a patient has suffered a stroke. While a caregiver can help the patient deal with this anger, in some situations, it may assistance the patient to see a therapist or a psychiatrist. Working with a specialized may make it easier for the patient to determine the cause of their anger and find ways to reduce it.