Personality Change is one of the hardest things to cope with.
I was a nightmare leading up to my diagnosis and even more so after my surgery. I wasn’t physically aggressive, I was just very snappy and quick to start an argument. I found people complaining about the slightest stuff like ‘I can’t believe it will rain all weekend’ would really stress me out.
One of the things that would set me off would be trying to get my sentences out, and somebody would jump in with a word suggestion, and I’d be like, WHAT! LET ME GET IT, how can I learn If I don’t practice’.
The scary thing is, I had no idea I was behaving that way. I just thought people were too sensitive and were walking around on eggshells for no reason.
“Not only do you have to deal with the stress from the whole experience, you have to be aware that you are not the only person struggling.”
I don’t think I ever really understood how upsetting it was for my closest family and friends, it wasn't as if I realised how I was behaving, but some people would put me in my place and I would hate this, I was trying my best.
It all became more evident when I was the close friend of someone who had brain cancer and I felt I was poorly treated by them as they were going through treatment. It was very upsetting. They would just tell me off for the smallest thing. I had to develop a thicker skin to not get tearful.
It is so important for people to know that a lot of the things that were setting myself and my friend off, were a cross between always being tired and just not having any stability in our daily lives. I had no idea what was going to happen the following day or how I would deal with not having a job or how to get out and about without help. All the things that were second nature before.
These things will happen and it is about how we deal with it. Here are some great suggestions.
Some of my favourite suggestions:
- Smile when you feel a frown coming on. If you smile, your face will relax and loosen the muscles. It confuses the brain and will send endorphins through your body. Smile for no reason but to stop that tension building up in your shoulders.
- Identify your triggers and avoid them. It might be hearing the word ‘you can’t’, or someone’s name, or going to a particular place”.
- Changing your physical position right away! Sit up straight on a chair. Relax shoulders and hold them back.
- Moving your eye position, don't focus on one thing – look around.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes
“Praying and humour.”
“When others annoy me I sing a song in my mind or thinking of something else while they are talking.”
“The best cure for me is laughter and love!!! A good fun time beats the worry and stress every time!”
“I write things down to get them out of my thoughts and also keep a daily diary for my kids for when they are older, so they know why things happened the way they did, why some days I was grumpy but mainly the great times we spent together.”
“Go for a walk.”
“Sweat out tension with a good workout.”
What causes behavioural and personality changes? See more at –