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Old 11-16-2010, 03:54 PM   #1
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Mini strokes causing behavioral changes

My mother's boyfriend/housemate seems to have become a bit more agitated within the last few months and doing things like complaining and the most inane things, saying things that he well knows will make my mother upset, and having childish tantrums over the silliest things.

For example, he was whining for at least two days about how there was no toilet paper in the basement bathroom. So rather than get some tissue himself since he knows where it is, he preferred to yell and blame me about it. For some reason, I'm his favorite target - he likes to blame everything on me as well as take cheap shots at my current state of unemployment (doing freelancing too) while he tends to get laid off from any obs he gets after a couple of weeks. Pot, meet kettle. Phone doesn't work? Dark Stranger's fault. Can't find a pen? My fault too. You get the idea.

He's always been a jerk, but he seems to be becoming more of one as of late. Just tonight, he came home seemingly normal and went to use the phone. I left our dial-up internet on since I intended to go back to the computer to work soon. He went to use the phone and rather than asking for someone to help his special little helpless self disconnect the internet and re-connect the phone, he had a fit about the phone "not working" and left again with a nice loud door slam.

I think the guy is just a combination of a jerk, being mildly mentally retarded and maybe having a midlife crisis as he realizes what a lousy life he has, but my mom thinks maybe he had a mini-stroke. I wonder if that's possible. Mom doesn't even try to argue with him anymore because he'll scream and fight until he gets his way and Mom starts crying. I just speak to him as little as possible because I hate him.

Mini-stroke, or just someone who needs a good swift kick in the head?

 
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:47 PM   #2
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Re: Mini strokes causing behavioral changes

How old is mom's friend? What makes your mom think he had a mini-stroke? It sounds like he is under some stress. He may also have some underlying depression. People that are depressed and have not been treated sometimes exhibit irrational behavior. Sometimes it comes out as anger towards loved ones. Try not to take it to heart when he comes at you for no reason. Try to remember that he is sick and sick people need to be treated a little differently for a time. Does he complain of headaches? Is he the type of person to keep things bottled up until he just explodes? Also, has his behavior changed recently? Sincerely, searchin

 
Old 11-16-2010, 05:40 PM   #3
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Re: Mini strokes causing behavioral changes

A jerk he may be, but he's your mother's jerk and if there is this much friction going on, I highly suggest you get any kind of fulltime and move out, maybe with a roommate? Things aren't going to improve if you continue to live there. I'm assuming of course that you're an adult?

I"m speaking from experience with my own mother and her boyfriend. When you leave home, your relationship with them will improve because you'll be relating as adults. As long as you live with your parent(s) you remain a child even if you're 40. This kind of tension also puts your mother between a rock and hard place, trying to placate both her child and her man.

I dont' hear anything that sounds like a stroke, but of course that doesn't mean he didn't have any TIAs. It's possible. Are there any physical signs..weakness in any limbs..slurring words...any sagging in the face? Or maybe he's just frustrated at the living situation since you say he's always been this way, only now is more so.

 
Old 11-16-2010, 05:47 PM   #4
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Re: Mini strokes causing behavioral changes

Strokes can assault any part of the brain, and depending where the damage is in the brain determines what the resulting impairment is. Although behavioral changes are one of the endless possibilities, they are not "in and of themselves" a symptom of stroke.

If this man has had sudden onset of slurred speech, loss of balance, drooping facial features, he would be assessed for stroke. If you have seen him in those conditions, he needs emergency medical attention.

Behavior changes could result from many factors, one possibility being dementia. You might pop over to that board and see if there are any similar stories over there.

 
Old 11-16-2010, 06:16 PM   #5
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Re: Mini strokes causing behavioral changes

I really don't know what stress he's under - he has no bills to pay, Mom doesn't ask him for rent, he's never home (too busy drinking and who knows what else), and Mom buys all his necessary things like razors and shampoo for him. Any money he makes goes toward booze, cigarettes, gambling, car parts and whatever other frivolous unnecessary stuff he wants. I don't see what he's got to be frustrated about since he's getting a free ride.

I don't pay much attention to him, but the few times I have regrettably had to be near him, he did not show signs of a stroke like slurred speech, weakness on one side, and if he's got headaches, he hasn't complained about them. Probably too drunk to notice them.

This guy is...probably going on 60, so he's definitely at an age where he could have a stroke or maybe when dementia could begin to kind of set in. His behavior hasn't changed completely as much as it has just worsened. He's choosing to live the way he is now, so why he has to take it out on other people is beyond me. He's probably just a jerk, but since he reminds me mother so much of her own father in terms of his awful behavior, she keeps him around.

Basically, he'll leave late in the morning or early in the afternoon, saying he's going to go get his mail. Then he comes home around midnight or 1 in the morning. If he's home sooner than that, he'll scarf down whatever dinner my mother made without saying a word, complain about stuff if he knows people are within earshot, and then either leave again or go right to bed. My guess is he's out drinking and probably cheating all day long.

And trust me, I'm definitely trying little by little to get out of here.

 
Old 11-17-2010, 05:25 AM   #6
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Re: Mini strokes causing behavioral changes

Hello Dark Stranger,
It sounds like you answered you own question in your last post. It is not a stroke problem, it is a drinking problem. That is very obvious. In my opinion, your mother is giving the stroke reason so she doesn't have took at the truth that he needs help to stop drinking, but knowing his age, that is probably not likely. Is sounds like your poor mother has lived this way (with alcoholics) her whole life and doesn't know any other way to live. She is caught in that cycle and may be hard for her to get out of. But you need to leave for your own sake. My first wife was an alcoholic and a drug addict and it was the worst time in my life. I know the pain it hurts to live like that. It is not a life at all. If he is getting worse, I would not be surprised if there may be violence in the future. I have a scar on my arm she knifed me to prove that it never gets better it only gets worse. Maybe if you leave then your mother will leave too if you are not there. I really hope you both can get out of that situation.

About him having a stroke, I doubt that he did have one, but he sure is a candidate for one or a heart attack knowing his age with the drinking and smoking. Please let us know how things are going.
God Bless,
Tim

 
Old 11-17-2010, 02:21 PM   #7
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Re: Mini strokes causing behavioral changes

I don't know if it's as much her being used to living with drunks as it is her just being so desperate to have a man around the house that she's willing to stick it out with whoever she can get. She doesn't seem to be interested in an actually caring significant other - she kisses this guy's backside so he'll stay and mow the lawn, shovel the driveway, fix her car and do stuff around the house she cannot do (like fix a broken toilet). The only time I've ever heard her tell him she loves him is when he's saying he's going to leave. Never seen them hug or kiss or hold hands or act in any way that would suggest they are together...and that's because they are more like roommates. He gets to live here rent-free if he does yardwork, I guess. I guess Mom thinks she's too old to go out and find a new guy to take care of stuff she's too achey to do herself.

She's been with this jerk for about 15 years. He used to be alright to be around when I was a kid, but ever since I got to be about 19, he's just been getting progressively more disrespectful to both my mother and I. I don't know if he's depressed, crazy, retarded, turning into a crotchety old man or what.

And the worst part is if he does become physically abusive, I don't know if my mother would leave even then because she'd be so desperate for her house-man. In the event that does happen, I hope she'd at least contact his family (who, save for his mother and one son, are sane) and have them help her since I know she wouldn't ever listen to me.

She won't move out of her house to one with a more accessible driveway and smaller yard either. She's only got a little bit left to pay on her house and it'll be paid for in full, and she'll probably retire and stay in this house. Her life really is pathetic, but she's so afraid of change that she'd rather stay in her current situation and be unhappy than do something to try and be happy.

I am glad her idiot gets drunk outside the house - usually he drinks with his equally intoxicated friends and comes home at 3 or 4 in the morning. And then stays out all day doing who knows what, so we usually rarely ever see him here anyway. So if he's going to be violent and stupid from getting drunk, at least he'll do it somewhere that isn't here.

 
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