A Different Brain

A Different Brain is an older Louis Theroux special, 2016, and I have recently been watching his specials because I finished listening to his audio book, Gotta Get Theroux This, and felt like catching up on ones I hadn’t seen as they are all on iPlayer. He chooses his subjects from a centre run by the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust, where there are people who have suffered all sorts of brain injury, including stroke. What really struck me as interesting and equally, idiosyncratic to myself was the shift in personality that each subject experienced after their brain injury. I can’t see outside myself, so I find it difficult to recognise shifts in my personality other than the ones that stand out to me like impulsively talking to strangers which was, also, a result of one of the programme subject’s brain injury. I can mingle with people and participate in social events but I doubt anyone is going to say to me, ‘Oh, that’s an odd thing to do’, or ‘You’re a bit weird aren’t you?’ No one is going to say that, so I have no gauge in what is normal to me post stroke as opposed to what would be abnormal to me, pre-stroke. I’m not concerned by this at all, but I found it interesting to listen to these subjects who had had a brain injury and listen to their carers who commented on their behaviour. I found myself empathising with each subject, and relating to their reactions and responses; impulsive behaviour, loose verbal filter, tunnel vision fixation, remote responses, over stimulation, abstract discourse, and sudden outsider syndrome.


innerestin’, very innerestin’.

iPlayer, you say?

i must check this out.

thanks @Rups


I am going to have to look this up! I do notice quite a bit is different in how I interact with others, and how I think and feel about them. Met with Bobbi’s group yesterday and discussed a bit of this very thing, because one of the personality differences is really bothering me…suspecting even people I know and love of ulterior motives or manipulation. That is NOT me, and I don’t want it to be me, and I MUST find a way to stop those thoughts.

Impulsiveness is still an issue, but I seem to have it mostly under control. That was never something I was before.

And the incessant talking. I don’t know how to stop sometimes, if I even notice it until much later. I ask people to stop me. Doctors and nurses will, understanding immediately what I am referring to. I will give you the background story, then part of the conversation, then clarify you understand what I am saying by giving you examples, then perhaps tell another story before finishing, never noticing your eyes glaze over, or your yawns. I truly used to be very quiet.

And the less than appropriate commentary I occasionally make, thank goodness, not very often, has never been me, either. I have always been very measured with my words, and kept them to myself if they were not pleasant. Now I might catch you and me both by surprise at a very direct reaction if I think you are full of it. I will sincerely apologize, profusely, but I won’t be able to take the words back.


Incessant talking is one of my post stroke dominating features, but the structure of it is quite direct, almost as if I am giving a speech and conducting an interview at the same time. The rules of engagement, post stroke, have definitely changed. I too was a quiet person, unless in the company of very close friends and, yet now, anyone is fair game for a gabble. Fortunately, I live in a country where oral culture is part of its social heritage, so having a yarn to strangers will, more often than not, inspire a jolly exchange.

I don’t have your experience of feeling people are being manipulative or have ulterior motives, but I am by nature a little misanthropic and feel most people are, inherently, opportunists, including myself. It would be difficult to be, truly, altruistic. It sounds like these thoughts you have are intrusive, unhelpful thoughts but I don’t imagine they are representative of who you are because you are aware of them and how they make you feel. When I have to manage these kinds of things, I tend to rely on auditory feedback, so I use a voiced ‘shushing’ sound to shush away the thought or idea, it’s very effective for me. I guess also, there are other techniques that can be adopted to prevent these thoughts having too much liberty.


@Rups @DeAnn

I found the hour long presentation gave me food for thought.

Between us we can agree to disagree, when necessary, but overall I thoroughly enjoy your company. Long may it continue.

I hope this comment is not unwelcome. If it is please blame it on the stroke and ask me to desist.

I wouldn’t want to upset either of your charming selves. Not that I am insinuating that you each have a pair or even a collection of selves .

I’m sure one each is sufficient. Now I’ll stop warbling. I hope it was a pretty song.

keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :smiley: :heart:


Sounds interesting i will definitely be having a look at this when I get the opportunity.


BBC won’t show it to me, as I am not in UK. Waiting for a US entity to buy it to show, no doubt. LOL.


I watched this last night. It was fascinating and made me think a bit about how I am now after my stroke & whether I have changed. I wasn’t in the right space to ask my hubby yesterday but I will definitely ask & see what he says…i’ll make sure i’m prepared for the unexpected response.


It will be on BBC America, no doubt, but not sure if you guys need to pay for that.


For me, brain injury is brain injury. I sometimes feel that stroke is sometimes pigeon holed as something different, but it’s the same sort of injury or damage as anyone who may have brain damage from an accident, overdose, genetic condition, acquired condition or whatever else can cause the brain to malfunction, and the result is interesting to hear from all sectors of the brain injury community.


I agree. There are many different sorts/causes of brain injury but they amount to the same thing. It was very interesting to hear the stories from people who had different causes but all had big impacts on their life.


The term “stroke” is less specific than the word “food”¡!

Stroke communicates damage by loss of oxygen through interrupt to the blood supply which kind of interrupt occurred. It doesn’t say anything about what is damaged; its just frequently use is directed at damaged caused in the brain but spine or heart et al are as valid

Different communities that suffer overlapping symptoms can reveal useful knowledge to each other



@Rups, we can see BBC America, for free. I hope to see this very soon. My daugher has TBI which I understand much better after stroke. A couple close friends have MS. We also have much in common. And I find better information to help me from Neurological research these days than from Stroke…with the exception of the lived experiences shared here, which is the only reason I have for continuing to visit the SA. I have not seen new information since I have been here, other than what is shared by forum members.


@DeAnn @Rups
This is quite interesting. My wife has pointed out (often) that I now talk incessantly and won’t stop and also that I repeat myself all the time. This usually ends up with her telling me quite forcefully to shut up. I’ve interpreted this as a lack of patience with my post stroke condition, but now you have pointed it out as another stroke bonus it changes my opinion of the situation. I’d never heard of this lovely mental extra before and nobody has ever asked me about it. Only fatigue, depression and anxiety. I am definitely on the same bus with this one.


Actually, I use this same technique, though not voiced, I shush quietly in my head and mentally walk away, give myself a time out so to speak, take my thoughts somewhere else for a time. You can’t always physically walk away when in company of others…though sometimes I wish I could.