5 Ways To Deal With Personality Changes Caused By A Brain Tumour

Personality Change is one of the hardest things to cope with for everybody

I was a nightmare leading up to my diagnosis and even more so after my surgery. I wasn’t physically aggressive, I was just very snappy and quick to start an argument. I found people complaining about the slightest stuff like ‘I can’t believe it will rain all weekend’ would really stress me out.

One of the things that would set me off would be trying to get my sentences out, and somebody would jump in with a word suggestion, and I’d be like, WHAT! LET ME GET IT, how can I learn If I don’t practice’.

The scary thing is, I had no idea I was behaving that way. I just thought people were too sensitive and were walking around on eggshells for no reason.

Not only do you have to deal with the stress from the whole experience, you have to be aware that you are not the only person struggling.

I don’t think I ever really understood how upsetting it was for my closest family and friends, it wasn’t as if I realised how I was behaving, but some people would put me in my place and I would hate this,  I was trying my best.

It all became more evident when I was the close friend of someone who had brain cancer and I felt I was poorly treated by them as they were going through treatment.  It was very upsetting. They would just tell me off for the smallest thing. I had to develop a thicker skin to not get tearful.

It is so important for people to know that a lot of the things that were setting myself and my friend off, were a cross between always being tired and just not having any stability in our daily lives. I had no idea what was going to happen the following day or how I would deal with not having a job or how to get out and about without help. All the things that were second nature before.

These things will happen and it is about how we deal with it.

Some of my favourite suggestions:

  • Smile when you feel a frown coming on. If you smile, your face will relax and loosen the muscles. It confuses the brain and will send endorphins through your body. Smile for no reason but to stop that tension building up in your shoulders.
  • Identify your triggers and avoid them. It might be hearing the word ‘you can’t’, or someone’s name, or going to a particular place”.
  • Changing your physical position right away! Sit up straight on a chair. Relax shoulders and hold them back.
  • Moving your eye position, don’t focus on one thing – look around.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes

I asked people on my Facebook Group and Twitter pages if they are or were struggling because of aggression and how they dealt with it.

“Praying and humour.”

“When others annoy me I sing a song in my mind or thinking of something else while they are talking.”

“The best cure for me is laughter and love!!! A good fun time beats the worry and stress every time!”

“I write things down to get them out of my thoughts and also keep a daily diary for my kids for when they are older, so they know why things happened the way they did, why some days I was grumpy but mainly the great times we spent together.”

“Go for a walk.”

“Sweat out tension with a good workout.”

Have you had this happen to you? What did you do to help?

Ways to deal with personality changes from brain tumour or brain surgery

Any of the sites under Claire Bullimore or Aunty M Brain Tumours is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The content on Aunty M Brain Tumours is designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment.


  1. / 10:13 pm

    My fiancé has a brain tumor. I was never told about personality changes. Its very difficult. I dont know from one moment to the next how he feels or which way our day will go.

  2. 스포츠토토사이트
    / 5:21 am

    Wohh just what I was looking for, thanks for putting up.

  3. Annette Kelleher
    / 8:15 am

    Well done Claire and thank you for being so open about how a brain tumour can impact on us. I still struggle even 8 years on . It helps to recognise these changes in ourselves. We will never be able to please everyone that wants the old you back. In my case she just disappeared. Compromise love & understanding have helped on both sides. Thanks again. Stay strong x

    • ClaireB
      / 3:37 pm

      Hi Annette, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. We have come a long way since our diagnosis. x

  4. Carol
    / 4:40 am

    I feel like you are writing about my life, this is everything Ive gone through! I really want to read your book I have not purchased it yet but that is on my list to do I am a survivor strong and doing well and admire every word I have read that you have written

    • ClaireB
      / 3:39 pm

      Hi Carol, I’m so glad the post helps. You are not alone x

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