By Medicover Hospitals / 27 Mar 2021
A personality change occurs when a person has a drastic change in appearance, actions, opinions, or feelings. A gradual personality change is normal, and it is even normal for a person to experience some level of significant change in their personality during their adulthood, especially as a result of trauma or success. However, uncontrollable, uncomfortable, damaging, or anxiety-provoking personality changes can be a sign of a deeper problem.
- What is Personality Changes?
- When to visit a Doctor?
What is Personality Changes?
Personality change refers to a change in the way you think, act, or feel. It may only be noticeable to you or people close to you.
Gradual personality changes can be normal with age. It is also normal for you to have changing behaviors or feelings depending on your mood, but these changes are temporary and can usually be attributed to a specific event. A sudden, unwanted, or uncontrollable change in your personality can be a sign of serious illness.
Several mental illnesses can lead to personality changes. These include anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, dementia, and schizophrenia. In the case of mental illness, personality changes can be the result of an interplay of factors including heredity, environment, and stress. These types of changes usually appear before the teenage years. It is believed that most mental illnesses result from imbalances in chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) and are treated with medication and psychotherapy.
Sudden personality changes can also result from brain damage or infection. Possible causes of brain damage include injury, stroke, infection, and inflammation, among others.
Seek immediate medical attention for symptoms of acute brain damage, including confusion or even brief loss of consciousness on one side of the body or eye pain. It is also advisable to seek immediate medical attention for psychotic symptoms such as seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations) or behaviors that endanger yourself or others, including threatening, irrational behavior. or suicidal.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):
Traumatic brain injury can lead to personality changes due to physical damage to the brain.
- Bleeding in the brain: This can occur as a result of the spontaneous rupture of a blood vessel.
- Loss of oxygen in the brain: This can be due to drowning, heart attack, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other forms of suffocation. The damage occurs after a few minutes and will be evident once the person is conscious again.
- Diabetes side effects or blood sugar problems: Insufficient blood sugar, often in diabetics, robs the brain of energy.
- Infections: Viral and bacterial infections of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) can cause serious damage to these tissues.
- Unconscious: Sometimes after a hard blow to the head, behavior and personality change, especially if you pass out.
A Progressive Disease Affecting the Brain:
Diseases that gradually affect the brain can cause personality changes of varying severity and onset.
- Neurological diseases: Most of them are genetic. These are known to produce profound personality changes due to their powerful effect on the brain.
- Aging and Illness: The gradual loss of brain function due to aging, combined with unknown factors, can sometimes lead to severe disability.
These diseases are complex, although diagnoses can usually be determined by professionals and in consultation with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. These diseases can lead to disturbing or inexplicable behaviors due to chemical imbalances in the brain. Behavior changes can also result, affecting sleep patterns, food cravings or appetite, as well as sexual behavior in addition to mood.
Normal aging can cause irritability, anger, and frustration due to:
- Hearing loss
- Loss of vision
- Loss of mobility
- Chronic pain
Rare and Unusual Causes:
A brain tumor can cause the loss of some functions due to crowding and displacement of tissues, but personality change does not always occur.
If you've been through a personality change, talk to your healthcare professional. Make sure to note:
The answers to these questions will be extremely helpful to your healthcare professional. They will help you diagnose the cause of your unusual behavior. They will also help your healthcare professional determine if this is a mental health problem or a medical problem.
They can choose to order tests.
Tests may include a complete blood count, a glucose level test, a hormonal profile, and tests for infections.
Depending on the circumstances, your healthcare professional may also order imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI.
If you don't have any identifiable medical conditions, your doctor will likely refer you to a mental health professional.
- when the personality change started
- what time of day you experience it
- what triggers it
- if this happens after taking prescription medicine (bring the medicine with you)
- if you take drugs
- if you drink alcohol
- if you have a history of mental health problems
- if your family has a history of mental health problems
- any other symptoms you may be experiencing
- if you have any underlying medical conditions
A personality change caused by a medical condition may improve after the condition is treated. However, in some cases, this will not go away with treatment for the underlying disease.
In this case, your condition may be treated separately with mood-altering drugs, depending on the cause.
If you have a hormonal imbalance, your personality change may subside after taking prescribed medications to balance your hormones. Estrogen replacement, low-dose birth control pills, and progesterone injections are commonly prescribed medications.
Mental health problems can be treated with a combination of medications and mood-altering therapies. Health care providers typically prescribe medications to treat conditions such as anxiety disorder, panic disorder, PTSD, and bipolar disorder.
When to visit a Doctor?
People who show warning signs should be seen by a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Law enforcement may need to be called in if people are violent.
People who have no warning signs should see a doctor within a day or two if the change in personality or behavior was recent. If the change has occurred gradually over a period of time, people should see a doctor as soon as possible, but a delay of about a week is not harmful.
Frequently Asked Questions:
It has long been believed that people cannot change their personality, which is largely stable and inherited. But a review of recent research in personality science points to the possibility that personality traits may change through persistent intervention and major life events.
Personality can change somewhat over time, but not very well. These changes don't seem to be systematically related to thinking skills or other common changes we experience as we age. This suggests that we can keep our individuality as we age. Don't worry about your personality.
By age 30, most people have reached maturity. Who says that? But according to Buss, that doesn't mean the five strokes are completely set in stone. He says that after 30 years, people become less neurotic.
The five major personality traits described by the theory are extraversion, agreeableness, openness, awareness, and neuroticism. Personality trait theories have long tried to determine exactly how many personality traits exist.
Personality Change - https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/article-abstract/591662
Personality Change - https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2006-10217-024
Personality Change - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/gps.2655