Sudden personality change due to some reasons like mental disease, brain injury, and surgery. How medications, drugs, and counseling can help in this.
Can you change your personality
Human personality changes throughout life. Mood fluctuations that happen from time to time are very normal. But this becomes too common, then it has to be checked up by a mental doctor.
Personality change can be described in many ways.
For example, inconsistent behaviour is basically based on how you react under a few circumstances that defines a personality change.
If a person behaves in a very very bizarre, moody and aggressive manner as compared to the normal behaviour of them, then it is called to be a change in personality.
Example of personality change
If you become nonchalant in situations where generally people cause stress or aggravation , then it is called a personality change.
One more example is some people become happy to hear tragic news.
What can cause a sudden change in personality
If personality change is not a usual one, then a sudden change can be because of some illness or injury.
These are some signs of determining a strange or unusual behaviour and take it as a n emergency situation.
- weak pulse
- clammy skin
- rapid heart rate
- rapid breathing
- shallow breathing
- low blood pressure
- difficulty talking
- shooting pains in the arms or legs
- pain in the chest
- visual changes
If you feel someone feels or shows such symptoms , call a doctor and take good advice from them.
Causes of personality changes
Bad news can be tragic to any normal person and makes him feel low. In some cases, when a person’s mood can be changed due to very bad news for a week or even a month. But mood changes are not the same as personality changes.
Some people can experience unusual behaviour for years that could be because of illness or injury. People who experience change in their demeanor after having a serious trauma or witness an unpleasant event.
Such behavioral changes can be caused by a mental health condition.
- Anxiety: It occurs when a person feels nervous in a situation. If someone becomes anxious more than one time in such a situation, then it could be symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
- Panic attacks: It is a period of extreme fear. The fear is irrational. This situation includes a person with panic attacks in a few conditions i.e. in an elevator or speaking in public.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: This mental condition is marked by extreme fear, flashbacks, and hallucinations. PTSD is triggered by some trauma.
- Bipolar disorder: In this, a person sees extreme fluctuations in mood. This mood change can be euphoria and depression depending on the condition of the person.
- Schizophrenia: It is difficult to think properly and becomes hard in knowing what is real and what is not.
Few medical conditions can cause fluctuation in your hormone secretion and can be resulting in unusual behavior. These are
- premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- andropause (male menopause)
- hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
Medical emergencies cause unusual behavior. This can even result in heart attack, stroke, Dehydration, malnutrition.
Frontal lobe damage personality changes
If the frontal lobe of a brain is injured, then it can lead to personality change. It is located underneath the forehead.
The frontal lobe controls our personality and is responsible for speech, emotions, and cognitive skills. Frontal lobe injury is very common, and it happens to head blow, falling, or car accidents.
Personality change after stroke
If you feel stroke, which means blood vessels in your brain rupture and blood supply interrupts, then your personality change can be a symptom of stroke. In some cases survivors start not caring about anything and become apathe.
Some stroke survivors experience apathy. They don’t seem to care about anything.
Survivors of stroke which mostly occur in the brain’s right side seem to neglect one side of their body or objects. They can even ignore one side of food on the plate.
Stroke in the right hemisphere of the brain can make people experience impulsive behaviour. This also includes taking actions without thinking about the consequences.
Brain tumor personality changes
If a tumor grows in the frontal lobe, temporal lobe or in cerebrum, then it can change your personality. If someone is seen to be irritated very easily, then this is a symptom. In this an active person can become passive. Other symptoms are being angry quickly after feeling happy.
Personality changes with dementia
Dementia is due to an illness or injury and is an impairment of at least two cognitive brain functions.
The cognitive brain functions are memory, thinking, language, judgment, behavior. The loss of brain cells changes the personality like making you too aware of depression
Moderate dementia causes personality changes like being more agitated or suspicious to others.
Adderall and personality changes
The prescription drug Adderall is the brand name for the combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. It’s mainly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Among the reported side effects of stimulants like Adderall are new or increased hostility and aggressive behavior. However, this appears to be related to misuse of the medication.
Children and teenagers may have new psychotic or manic episodes.
Alcohol addiction personality changes
If a person is addicted to alcohol, then it can change your brain and neurochemistry. This can change in your personality.
People who are alcoholic are more depressed and lethargic. This impaired their judgement and lowered inhibition. This can be physically and verbally abusive.
Personality changes with age
Personality change occurs due to age also for the whole life. A study has shown five personality traits like conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, and introversion are few stable traits after you become an adult.
A study was made on students and their personality was analysed, then when those people attained the age of 77. The test results have shown that the personality of all those was very different but the change was a very slow process. While the study had some limitations and more work is needed in the same.
Personality changes in the elderly
In older people , the change of personality is more common as irritable or agitated. The extreme changes could be very controlling or a sign of dementia. Older people have more personality traits than those of younger people. For ex: neuroticism tends to increase in adults in their 80s.
Some persons can revert their maturity to a young and carefree attitude. This is because of all the depression in this.
Personality changes after concussion
A mild traumatic brain wound is known as concussion caused by a head impact. The symptoms are known as post-concussion syndrome.
The common symptoms are dizziness, headaches and personality change. It can even make you more or less emotional to situations. Expressions of emotions become more because of this. Few sessions of counselling helps in your change of personality.
Personality changes after heart attack
While it’s not uncommon to feel anxious or depressed after a heart attack, these feelings are usually only temporary. However, some people may continue to feel depressed for weeks after the heart attack.
Up to 33 percent of people who’ve had heart attacks experience depression to some degree. If your depression is severe, you should see a healthcare provider. Without treatment, it could lead to an increased risk for another heart attack.
Do antidepressants change your personality
Antidepressant medication is to treat major depression and disorder caused by anxiety. Too much personality change can make relapses to a person.
Lyme disease personality changes
Lyme disease has few such symptoms. It is transmitted from bite of infected blacklegged tick, physical signs and mood swings.
A study proved that 21% of people who were in early stages of Lyme disease feel irritated, 10% of those were very anxious too.
Parkinson’s personality changes
Parkinson disease is a neurological disorder that causes motor problems like tremors and stiffness. It changes the brain wiring that leads to change in personality. People who are suffering from Parkinson disease are apathetic, pessimistic, inattentive.
Early phase of Parkinson’s includes symptoms like depression, obsession and stubbornness.
Personality changes during menopause
Menopause causes hot flashes and weight gain and results in a change in women’s personality. Less production of estrogen during menopause reduces serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonins are responsible for regulating your moods. The chemical changes in women can make them feel more anger, sadness, anxiety, and panic. Such changes can last up to 4 years after women’s last period.
Personality change after surgery
Using anesthesia during surgery to people can affect someone’s brain for a longer time. Although the change in behaviour of a person is temporary but in few cases it can persist for months or years.
People can feel more confused or disoriented. Older people may have postoperative cognitive dysfunction.
Personality change symptoms
Mood and behaviour changes over time, but due to a sudden personality change, a person behaves in a very unusual anner.
The symptoms of personality change are change in ood, anxiety, anger threshold, rude behaviour and delusions.
Personality change diagnosis
If you are observing any personality change in someone, then book an appointment with your counsellor. Make a record of the following things.
- when the personality change began
- what time of day you experience it
- what triggers it
- whether it happens after taking prescription medication
- if you’re taking drugs
- if you’re using alcohol
- if you have a history of mental health conditions
- if your family has a history of mental health conditions
- any other symptoms you may be experiencing
- if you have any underlying medical conditions
If you bring the answers of all these questions, then your counsellor will find a solution for you faster. This will help them to find the reason for your unusual behavior. Finally this will help you know about whether it is a mental illness or just a life crisis.
There are few tests conducted on the person to determine the real problem. These tests could be blood count, glucose level test and hormones profile.
Few health practitioners also use an MRI or CT scan imaging to get more deeper results. If no medical conditions are seen, then your doctor will refer you to a mental health professional.
Personality change treatment
The treatment of the above discussed medical conditions are done by medications and counselling. In some severe cases some mood altering drugs are used to improve mood in your mind.
A slight hormonal imbalance in your mind may alter your whole personality. Many medical practices are done to balance your hormones. Estrogen replacement, birth control pills are progesterone injections used commonly for this purpose.
The combination of mood altering medicines and therapy plus counselling helps in treating the mental health problems. This kind of medicine helps in treating conditions like anxiety disorder, panic disorder, PTSD, and bipolar disorder.
Talk therapy, technically known as psychotherapy, is also a very effective method to deal with stress and anxiety which are major symptoms of mental conditions.