The Road to Recovery after Brain Aneurysm Treatment – Emotional Effects

It is impossible for others to understand the suffering that a patient with an illness goes through simply because the experience is unique to the person. The life-changing experience that one goes through after brain aneurysm treatment puts the patient through great emotional stress. Even though no one may truly understand the emotional effects following brain aneurysm treatment, all patients should know that help and support is available. Maintaining a positive attitude, healthy diet and following doctor’s advice will help the patient overcome the emotional sequelae.

Common emotional disturbances following brain aneurysm treatment are

Depression: Many brain aneurysm survivors suffer from depression. Symptoms include mood swings, feeling of sadness, anxiety, emptiness, hopelessness, decreased energy and fatigue, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, lack of sleep, decreased appetite, loss of interest in pleasure or activities including sex and suicidal thoughts.
The patients need to openly share their feelings with someone close to them and also to the treating doctor. Consultation with a psychiatrist or a psychologist may help. The patients should understand that patience and time are required to overcome some of these sequelae. The most important thing that the patients and their families should understand and keep in mind that having a brain aneurysm is not the end of the road and that help is available to face the emotional and physical disturbances.
Loss of Emotional Control: Many patients experience increased anger, sadness or apathy. The anger or frustration of not being able to go back to the pretreatment state can be difficult to understand. In these circumstances, counselling should be sought.
Loneliness: Many patients feel lonely as they do not have someone to share their suffering. In such circumstances, sharing their feelings with the doctor and seeking appropriate counselling often helps.
Sleep Disturbances: Many patients experience decreased or excessive sleep due to prolonged stay in the hospital or the ICU. In most circumstances, the treating doctor is able to help.
Decreased Self-esteem: Many patients feel less capable of doing their work. In many patients, it is the lack of right attitude rather than physical incapability. Appropriate and timely treatment by a psychiatrist or a psychologist is very helpful.
Family and financial issues: Disputes in the family or financial insecurity may crop up and play a major role in worsening the above mentioned emotional effects. The patient and his/her family should understand that having a brain aneurysm is not the end of the road and, with appropriate and timely treatment, the physical and emotional effects can be minimized.

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