RESEARCH: EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE POST RIGHT HEMISPHERE STROKE

Emotional Experiences and Challenges People Face Following Right Hemisphere Stroke

Can you help us gaining a better understanding of emotional experiences and challenges people face following right hemisphere stroke?

My name is Ioana Clonis and this study is a part of my studies for the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology (DCPsych) at New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling in conjunction with Middlesex University. The research will explore people’s emotional experiences following a stroke in the right-hand side of the brain.

The right hemisphere of the brain is particularly important in the processing of emotion and damage in this area can result in changes to emotional awareness and behaviour.

To date there have been few studies exploring the emotional experience of stroke patients. This study will help us to understand the challenges they face and recommend appropriate therapies.

Being involved in this study will entail answering some background information and taking part in a one interview with myself lasting approx. 60-90 minutes.

Participants will be encouraged to discuss their experience of stroke, and to explore how do they experience, understand and communicate emotions. They will also be encouraged to explore how is it like for them to adjust to change in their emotional awareness and behaviour.

 Participants in this study will be selected on the following criteria
 Adults between 25 and 65 years of age
 The occurrence of a stroke in the right-hand side of the brain
 6 months recovery time after the onset of stroke
 Fluent in the English language

If you are interested in taking part in this study, please contact me on the number or email below:

0845 5577752 or IC238@live.mdx.ac.uk.
Thank you very much in advance,
Ioana Clonis

can I add to this request, via an interview,
I took part in helping this research into this little understood aspect of stroke brain injury.

I would urge anybody that fits the criteria to contact loana.
if you are considering doing it just go for it.
I found it to be an almost cathartic experience, to be able to talk to somebody (without being judged), on this almost taboo subject,
especially for men, when I mention the matter to friends and family the general reaction is a shrug of the shoulders, medical people seem to give contradictory advice and the offer of more medication (in my experience).
sometimes the subject of the emotional liability side of stroke arises on the forum.
a better understanding is definitely required.

Dear Vinnie
That's good. You got a benefit from trying to assist others, excellent.
I am over 65 so I don't seem to be included. What is emotional liability ?
I think many SS are suffering from some form of emotionality and it just messes with our recovery.
Colin

thank you Colin,
yes I thought if my small contribution can help even 1 person, that's fine by me.
pity your age doesn't fit the criteria, I know from here, that you'd have offered an articulate and thoughtful contribution.
The emotional lability basically is emotional incontinence, a sudden flow of tears, sometimes uncontrollable, and or the polar opposite,
laughing sometimes uncontrollably.
I seem to get both. i wasn't like this pre stroke.
my neurologist showed me my brain scan...
The dead area he said is next to a bit of the brain thst controls emotions ( I cannot remember the medical names for these areas).
lots of information online says it tends to be left hemisphere injury is the cause, the opposite is looking more likely, the right side.
for me anyway.....
hence the need for research.
my latest teary episode was this morning...
11th of 11th 11 am. the 2 minute silence,
during that time, like other people do, my mind casts to the loss of life and suffering from military conflicts.
pre stroke i'd get a lump in my throat.
nowadays I don't half blub. it can feel silly in public especially for a man. we are taught as kids, boys don't cry.
I'm sure you understand this, possibly a few others here. not always sad tears for me but also occasionally happy ones, they are best.
not all as people have this issue, I guess it depends upon where the individuals brain injury is sited maybe?
as iv said before docs offer me more meds, iv declined, I already rattle enough from other meds.
iv rattled on long enough now today.
pun intended.

Thanks for the info Vinnie.
I am not a strong man , a right pen pusher type. But I would never cry. Then stroke and I cry uncontrollably. Last time was watching the excellent "Speechless" film. It reminded me of when I first came home and the tears flow. It has eased, especially the past six months, which bodes well for you (?).
My damage is on the right hand side, lacuna "right corona radiate posteriorly". I think thats deep inside the brain and is an area that controls some of the messaging.
I do agree that its good that research is being carried out. The NHS support for us is very poor.
Colin

Unfortunately, I do not fit the age criteria either. Interestingly, before the stroke I was quite an emotional person, but I have never cried once after the event. I did become quite fearful of Death for a while and had bouts of being angry out of frustration for what I could not do. I am more sanguine now, but do agree with you both about other people’s reactions and our views of masculinity. I was saddened by ‘friends’ who never came near me and irritated by people who were desperate to help me and grabbing my arm to assist me despite knowing my wish to do things independently. The worst thing to cope with is, ‘You look well’, which also irritates me no end. People also want you to be normal when, emotionally, you are not. This means you have no emotional link with those people.

I did have an excellent hour and a half with a neuropsychologist and that enabled me to pour out all sorts of things. She told me that,mentally, I was in good shape. I would put in a small pennyworth on behalf of gay Stroke survivors. I have noted several partners of survivors on this forum. There is still an assumption that if you are male you are in a heterosexual marriage and this could create emotional inhibition when catastrophe strikes. Fortunately, my partner and I have been together for 39 years, so we did hold hands on the hospital ward in the early stages and give each other a peck on the lips when visiting time ended. That was very comforting and it was immaterial what other people thought. In rehab, staff accepted my partner as they would any other spouse and kept him fully informed throughout.

As Colin says, we are somewhat neglected by the NHS and I have been surprised that there is no periodic review of mood and medication.

Dear John
Fascinated that you were pre stroke emotional and post stroke this has reduced if not reversed.
Excellent post. The "friends" thing is a big problem when we try to reinvest ourselves in society. I am so grateful to my church friends, who have a better attitude and greater compassion.
Best wishes
Colin

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