April 1, 2012

Can A Stroke turned him gay?


Rugby jock says 

By
Ryan Jaslow  .cbsnews.com
CAROUSEL: brain scan mri xray stroke tumor dementia alzheimers concussion(Credit: istockphoto)
(CBS) Strokes can have strange consequences. Some stroke victims wind up with different accents, others with different personalities. Chris Birch said he discovered he was gay when he woke up after a stroke.
The 26-year-old Welshman suffered a stroke after breaking his neck while attempting a back flip at a gym,The Daily Mail reported. His then-fiancée and family stayed by his side, but when he woke, something had changed.
"It sounds strange, but when I came round I immediately felt different," Birch told the paper. "I wasn't interested in women any more. I was definitely gay. I had never been attracted to a man before - I'd never even had any gay friends."
Before the stroke, Birch was a banker who loved playing rugby, watching sports, and drinking beer with his buds. After the stroke, he found he had little in common with his blokes, quit his job to train as a hairdresser, and started dating a man.
"I went back to my job in the bank and tried hard to fit back into things but it didn't seem right anymore," Birch told The Mirror last month. "Suddenly, I hated everything about my old life. I didn't get on with my friends, hated sport, and found my job boring."
He also focused more on his appearance, lost a lot of weight - and became more confident.
Birch's neurologist told him the changes in his personality could be from the stroke "opening up" a different part of his brain, according to the Daily Mail.
What do experts have to say - can a stroke really turn you gay?
Dr. Ira G. Rashbaum, professor of rehabilitation medicine and chief of stroke rehab at NYU Langone Medical Center, wouldn't speculate on this specific case since he wasn't involved in Birch's care, but he told CBS News that it's quite common to see personality changes in patients following a stroke.
Rashbaum said some recovering stroke patients might experience anxiety, depression, or difficulties paying attention. In some cases if a stroke affects the brain's frontal lobe - which controls inhibition - a previously quiet person might become angrier, suddenly telling others off.
But a full-blown personality change?
"This is a more rare circumstance, certainly not a common thing" he told CBS News. He added that profound personality changes usually aren't permanent following rehabilitation with a team that might include psychologists and social workers.
Joe Korner, director of communications for The Stroke Association in the U.K., told CBS News in an email that he's never personally heard of a stroke changing someone's sexuality, but he doesn't doubt the stroke had some impact on Birch's life.
"Strokes are traumatic, life-changing experiences, which can make you reassess life and your feelings so perhaps that's the reason behind it," Korner said. "Whether or not the stroke turned Chris gay, or whether he was gay anyway but unaware of it, his experience seems to be a positive one, which is great."


 

By Neal Broverman Advocate:


CHRIS BIRCH X390 (UK MIRROR) | ADVOCATE.COM
Chris Birch
After breaking his neck attempting a backflip and then suffering a stroke, Welshman Chris Birch went from a sports-loving heterosexual to an out and proud homosexual, or so he says.
Birch made headlines last month in the United Kingdom when he told The Mirror about his accident and subsequent reversal of orientation.
"It sounds strange, but when I came round I immediately felt different," the 26-year-old told the paper. "I wasn't interested in women any more. I was definitely gay. I had never been attracted to a man before — I'd never even had any gay friends."
Birch then became more obsessed with his appearance, which he believes is a gay trait. He also started training to be a hairdresser. CBS News asked Britain's Stroke Association if the organization was familiar with someone "becoming gay" after a stroke — not really, officials with the group responded, but they did say people often reassess their lives after such an ordeal. Read more here. 

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