Many stroke victims lose the use of a limb or one of their all-important senses but one man, in particular, ended up losing something that we all could probably do without. Sadness. He suffered a stroke and can’t feel any sadness anymore since the portion of the brain that controls that particular emotion had been destroyed. His name is Malcolm Myatt and he’s a 68-year old retired truck driver. After, spending 19 weeks in the hospital, during which he suffered from a loss of feeling on his left side, the doctors advised him that the stroke had affected his brain’s frontal lobe and that it was the part of his brain responsible for controlling his emotions.
He’s Never Depressed
Since that fateful day in 2004, Malcolm has been noticing some changes that include a loss of short-term memory. He’s a firm believer, however, that losing the emotion of sadness is definitely the positive side of having a stroke. He further stated that he’s never depressed. He also feels that being sad doesn’t help matters in any way. He also said that he would much rather be a happy person all of the time rather than the alternative, which is sadness. He actually sees it as a definite advantage. He said that the stroke could have been capable of becoming his worst enemy, however, he simply didn’t let it do that. Now, all these years later, he says that he’s hardly even noticing anymore that he doesn’t feel sadness.
Changes Are Not Uncommon
According to medical experts, it isn’t an uncommon occurrence for a stroke to end up causing all kinds of changes. Those changes can include those that are clearly behavioral, emotional, or psychological. According to the Stroke Association, a number of psychological changes brought on by a stroke boil down to a certain amount of physical damage in the brain. How much and where is dependent upon the particular part of the brain that was affected, as well as the full extent of that damage.
According to Dr. Watson
An explanation about the subject from Dr. Clare Walton includes the fact that when a stroke occurs, the patient’s blood supply to his or her brain becomes cut off, causing brain cells to start dying. This is when permanent damage can occur. She also stated that each stroke is different plus the part of the brain that becomes damaged is the determining factor in how a stroke patient is affected. And, although most doctors really hadn’t previously heard of a stroke survivor totally losing a specific emotion, many of them do have difficulty in controlling their emotions after having a stroke. Some of them may laugh or cry out loud at the most inappropriate of times.
Other Stroke Problems
Problems following a stroke could include agitation, apathy, irritability, explosive anger and an overall inability to control one’s emotions. In addition, it could cause a loss of empathy or make a patient unable to connect with those emotions. This could result in the general inhibiting of certain feelings, like joy or sadness, according to Luke Griggs, who is the spokesman for the brain injury association called Headway.
An Infectious Smile and Laugh
All of that sounds pretty clinical and a bit frightening. On the other hand, we think that Malcolm Myatt’s wife puts it best. She says that his laugh is infectious and he can liven up any room. Now, that is a positive effect. If you’d like to see his smiling face, this story can be found at