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Stroke Care Center at the Gates Vascular Institute
Emotional and Behavior Changes after a Stroke

Crying Woman

A stroke may cause many changes in a person's emotions and behaviors. Persons who recently have had a stroke often lose some emotional control. They may switch from laughing to crying for no apparent reason (emotional lability).

Crying seems to be the most frequent problem and sometimes stroke survivors cry because they are depressed. Depression is a natural feeling following the loss of ability or any abrupt change in life. Often though, excessive crying is due to brain injury and is not directly linked to perceived losses.

The loss of a person's former personality and physical abilities may result in depression, anger, and frustration. The stroke survivor, as well as family members and friends, may find themselves going through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. Family members may also grieve over the loss of the previous relationship with the stroke survivor.

If you or your family members have concerns concerning depression, please contact your health professional.