New Faces of Stroke(SM) Campaign Highlights Serious Post-Stroke Emotional Issues
Amber with her mom, Sonja
Campaign Ambassador Shares Personal Fight Against Pseudobulbar Affect, a Condition that Causes Sudden and Inappropriate Outbursts
Colo., October 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sonja Frazier, 65, suffered her first stroke in
June 2005, while at work. Because she received immediate medical attention,
Sonja recovered well, but after her stroke, she was more emotional, tearing up
and crying like never before.
Sonja suffered subsequent strokes
in December 2005 and January 2006. This time, the effects were severe and very
obvious. It would be more than a month before Sonja could go home. But coming
home was difficult for both Sonja and her family. Sonja could not function on
her own, nor could she be left alone.
Sonja continued to suffer random
outbursts of emotion, “Mom
would cry and wail uncontrollably,” recalls Sonja’s daughter, Amber
Frazier-Howe, in National Stroke
Association’s latest Faces of Stroke campaign video. “Anything that
evoked emotion or any reaction would result in an outburst. Many times we
wondered if she was so sad because of all that she’s lost.” Thankfully, Sonja was diagnosed
with pseudobulbar affect (PBA) during therapy, as it was interfering with her
ability to participate in the exercises.
In honor of National
Depression Education and Awareness Month, National Stroke Association has
launched a new Faces of StrokeSM mini-campaign
designed to educate about depression, anxiety and other emotional behavior changes that are
common in stroke survivors. This campaign underscores the difference between
depression and PBA, a medical condition that is often undiagnosed and
has difficulty communicating due to her strokes, her daughters have become her
advocates—and join National Stroke Association’s Faces of Stroke campaign as
ambassadors. Read more about this campaign.
PBA is triggered by damage to an area
of the brain and is often mistaken for and misdiagnosed as depression, and
affects approximately one million Americans. It is sometimes referred to as emotional lability, pathological
crying and laughing or emotional incontinence. Sudden and often inappropriate outbursts of PBA can make people
feel like their internal emotions and external expressions are disconnected.
This can cause frustration for both stroke survivors and their loved ones.
Understanding this condition can be a step toward reclaiming and improving your
relationship and quality of life.
National Stroke Association
launched the Faces of Stroke
campaign in 2011, and has supplemented it with new mini-campaigns that delve
into specific stroke topic areas. “After you meet a stroke survivor with PBA,
you immediately understand how devastating this condition is to their quality
of life. It’s important that we give it special attention, because the stroke
community is so vastly affected by it, and to varying degrees,” said Jim
Baranski, Chief Executive Officer, National Stroke Association. “This campaign
is an opportunity to raise awareness of PBA and its relationship to stroke, and
give those who are impacted by it an opportunity to talk about it.”
"We believe that
patients have the power to influence healthy behaviors through storytelling,”
said Mr Baranski. “You just have to give them the
opportunity. Anyone affected by stroke—no matter the connection—can have a role
in raising awareness by telling their stories and sharing them with people they
Faces of Stroke public awareness
campaign aims to change the public perceptions of stroke through sharing
personal stories. The Faces of Stroke
campaign features an online gallery of hundreds of stroke champions' stories
and photos, an easy-to-use online story submission tool, educational
information about stroke and opportunities to share stories socially through
Facebook, Twitter and email. Learn more about the campaign at www.stroke.org/faces.
A stroke is a brain attack
that occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks,
interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. The first step to prevention is identifying if you have
any controllable and uncontrollable risk factors and begin to manage them.
Stroke is an emergency. Treatment may be available if a person reaches the
hospital in time. Recognizing warning signs can be easy if you remember to
person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
person to repeat a simple phrase. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?
observe any of these signs, then it's time to call 9-1-1.
About National Stroke
National Stroke Association
is the only national organization in the U.S. that focuses 100 percent of its
efforts on stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on
prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.
Founded in 1984, the organization works every day to meet its mission to reduce
the incidence and impact of stroke.
Press Contact: Taryn Fort
SOURCE National Stroke Association