A man has lost the ability to feel sad after suffering a stroke.
A stroke victim can no longer register sadness because part of his brain controlling his emotions was destroyed, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.
Malcolm Myatt, 68, who spent 19 weeks in hospital and lost the feeling in his left side, was told by doctors that the stroke hit the frontal lobe of his brain, where emotions are regulated. He has since noticed several changes, including to his short-term memory. But he believes that the loss of sadness from his emotional make-up is a positive.
Experts have confirmed that it is not uncommon for strokes to cause psychological, emotional and behavioural changes.
The retired truck driver, of Cannock, Staffordshire, said: “I am never depressed. Being sad wouldn’t help anything, anyway. I would definitely rather be happy all the time than the other way round. It’s an advantage really.
“The stroke could have become my worst enemy, but I wouldn’t let it. Now I barely even notice I don’t feel sadness.”
Many of the psychological changes that occur after a stroke are down to the physical damage of the brain. They depend upon which part of the brain has been affected and the extent of the damage, the Stroke Association said.
Dr. Clare Walton, the association’s research officer, said: “While we haven’t heard before of stroke survivors completely losing the ability to feel a particular emotion, many find it difficult to control their emotions and may cry or laugh at inappropriate times.”
Luke Griggs, a spokesman for Headway, the brain injury association, said: “Emotional and behavioural problems are not uncommon following brain injury.”
“Problems can include apathy, agitation, explosive anger and irritability, and a general inability to control emotions.
“It can also result in a loss of empathy or even the ability to connect with one’s emotions, thus inhibiting feelings of sadness.”