Stroke,then violence then self harm

I can't believe in writing the following but here goes.

My 75 year old dad was taken into hospital on Mon 12th April with a stroke. He came home last Sat for a few days and then went back into hospital for a procedure to clear a artery that was 90% blocked with plaque. Whilst he was at home he was massively confused and very unpleasant to my mum. I told her this wasn't uncommon with stroke patients and that hopefully he'd have his procedure then begin recovery.


He had his procedure Weds,all went well, physically ok.Confusion set in yesterday when ringing to ask my mum for clothes. Then this morning,when he was meant to be discharged,we got a phonecall saying he'd been violent on the ward,hitting staff with his crutches,accusing my mum of having affairs with the doctors. The doctors also assessed him to lack capacity and apply a DOLS to him. The nurse called mum later and she and they both agree that dad can't come home the way he is as mum is too scared of his aggression and that the best thing was for him to go to a care home for a period to see if his aggression calmed down. The doctor did say at this point he'd calmed down and was very apologetic but was saying a voice in his head told him to be violent.


My dad's always been quite unstable and abusive. But this a whole other level. I've often said I think he has mental health problems but they weren't talked about in our family and he wouldn't entertain the idea of even discussing them if it was broached. My family was a brush it under the carpet type when we were growing up.


The nurse told mum to call again this evening to see how he was. Apparently he asked to go for a walk around the ward to stretch his legs,but then returned to his bed and started to cut his wrists with a knife. My mum then decided to go and see him to see if she could calm things down.


I feel totally numb. Depression is rife in our family but never to this level. My dad is a staunch Catholic and I never would have dreamed he'd do something like this as it's so against his religion. I don't even know where to begin. They're talking about running tests for schizophrenia because the nurse said this is not a normal side effect of stroke.


Can anyone offer any support or advice. I literally feel like I'm in hell and just when I've reached rock bottom,this happens

Dear Giddy

so sorry to hear of the trauma in your family.

i am 73 and had a stroke five years ago.

stroke changes our personality. This is not a short term change.

i am not violent, but i can grasp how a violent person would loose control. 

you are now dealing with a new Dad. 

if he can be accomodated in an appropriate home then you/Mum can judge how things are progressing. 

i am a practising Christian and prayers helped me through the early days.
Please think in the long term. it takes months and years for recovery to progress. If depression sets in then it will delay recovery even more.

best wishes







Sorry to hear this about your Dad.  Strokes do change personalities but this seems to be something a little bit deeper.  It's good to hear they are not considering sending Dad home again as your Mum will be scared as anyone would.  Self harming is also something that needs further investigation.  I hope they get to the bottom of this and your Dad and Mum and you get all the help and support you all need.

I don't know if this is an area you might want to discuss with his gp. On my stroke rehab ward, there was a patient affected by this.

Perhaps it might be helpful to remember that your Dad is suffering some sort of mental upset, and is probably in the right place while the medics treat him.  Your Mum needs your support at the moment.  It is so upsetting, especially violence or abuse.  I do hope it improves, for all your family.