Hi everyone! I needed to come back to the blog and write a post about this because I’ve been talking a lot about it and trying to explain it to my hubby in the last few days. It’s oh so important and can quite frankly ruin relationships. And as I’ve been reading about it lately it seems it’s way under diagnosed and most families sweep it under the rug and don’t try to understand it. Mine sure as hell didn’t. My family was only concerned with THEIR feelings and how this affected THEM. Not at all how this terrible, devastating, tragic, horrible thing affected ME and my life. My immediate family members and SO at the time couldn’t have been more self-involved if they tried.
It’s called Pseudobulbar Affect or PBA for short. It’s when you have episodes of uncontrollable crying or laughing or anger or just saying bizarre things. It’s an emotional disconnect when what shows on your face or how you emote or what you say is completely opposite of what’s in your head. It might be one of the weirdest things that I’ve experienced after the stroke. At times my words didn’t at all match what was in my head. A lot of people have it after a stroke, not everyone. Five years later and I’m still very much struggling with it. It’s utterly impossible for a normal person to understand this, it’s so very weird. The most you can do is provide reading materials to people and hope that they read it and try to understand, as my husband is trying.
For the first year or two after the stroke, it was unbelievably severe and intense that I literally couldn’t speak without bursting into tears. I could be speaking about a TV show and just start sobbing. Now, it’s mostly the episodes of intense anger that I’m dealing with. Anger sometimes over stupid little things that wouldn’t at all bother someone else. Because of this, I tend to socially isolate myself, remove all negativity and drama from my life and I choose only to be around a select few people that make me feel good. This is because I’m terrified of how I will react.
PBA is uncontrollable. It’s totally beyond your control. Therapy can give you coping mechanisms but talking about it ad nauseum won’t make it go away, nor will medicine. You literally cannot control your emotions.
Here’s some good reading material that I’ve found on it in the last few days….
Written by Mrs. Patrick Elder