Meningitis Now
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compulsive actions

Hi is there any confirmed relationship with Meningitis and compulsive actions ?

Mrs had Meningitis a few yrs ago and as a family we've noticed buying clothes is a big thing

my clothes have ended up mainly folded up on the wardrobe floor to create space

we have 2 double wardrobes a single in the back bedroom and now a extra clothes rack/rail too

to store the clothes

is there anything that is connected to meningitis that would account for this

the Mrs has loads of clothes many still with tags on unused but likes to buy

something every time she goes out yes we tell her she has loads of clothes

but its a big sore point if we try and stop her


11 Replies

Only thing that I can relate to is that some times buying new clothes cheers you up and post Meningitis we certainly need some cheering. If it is a real problem maybe you all can do some brainstorming to come up with some other means of cheering that is just as effective. Some type of rewarding project. Good luck Dene. Jeffery


If the frontal lobes of her brain have been damaged by the meningitis then this could mean her impluse/inhibition control has been affected meaning that she struggles to moderate her buying clothes/spending money. It could also mean she is less inhibited in what she will say to people and less able not to be inappropriately blunt and respect social niceties. If it is a post meningitis problem then maybe it needs to be raised with her GP. Did she have a MRI scan of her head at all or neuropsych testing to establish any damage sustained to her brain?


Thanks for the replys

its not something i took much notice of until i had to purchase the extra clothes stand / rail

then looking at the last 18 months yes she's has been buying a clothes item

on most visits to town/supermarket

the supermarket buying has dropped off a bit as she cant cope with visiting

the supermarket when she walks in its like "boom" what do i need in here

then thats where it goes wrong she cant process the visit anything she had in her mind on buying as in shopping items its lost because she cant process looking down isles

remembering what items are where in the local place like she could do before

it might sound funny but visiting the supermarket sends her to sleep it

drains her just trying to process the visit psychologist report says she has

Cognitive problems simple task understanding probs, no concentration etc

i picked up on this early after her discharge when her family took her

shopping she would come home with items we never buy and buy items

she / we dont eat or like thats why they did tests after i mentioned it to

her physio / re-hab doctors

Neuro / psychologists did tests with her 1 to 1 doing picture / name remembering and more etc she failed it all shes had 2 MRI and GP Says the problems she has are down to Frontal Lobe Brain damage.

we see the re-hab doc again soon ill mention it to him.

Neuro Specialists has discharged her he says what we have now is how the Mrs will be

in his opinion and wont improve much more

they did try some special meds used to treat ADHD in children but that made her worse so it was stopped

we just get on with it looking after her / meeting her needs

the clothes buying is just something else she has in the whole process

of having had meningitis and what its done to her



I have frontal lobe brain damage following Bacterial Meningitis in May 2011. Some of what you have now written is very familiar to me - although not the clothes buying I hasten to add - for me the impulsivity presents itself in other ways. What you describe seems to be Executive Function problems which I have too eg processing information, switching attention, carrying out tasks, decision making etc plus I cannot tolerate loud noise, crowded places and still have balance problems. I recognise my problems but this can also be an area of the brain that can be damaged and possibly your 'Mrs' doesn't know the things are a problem which I guess makes matters worse. I have had to grieve for the old me and try and accept the now me which has been an emotional process to go through and I still haven't come to terms with all yet. Talking to the rehab Dr would be a good idea and also the Meningitis Trust as they can probably offer you some support to also come to terms with your changed Mrs as sadly this is probably the Mrs you have to accept now. I find supermarkets hard to tolerate and definately the hub bub and noise distrupts my thinking so I'd come home with not a lot or repeat buy what I have got. The Brain Injury Team OT helped me with shopping lists and meal planners and they got me set up with online supermarket shopping. That has helped me tremendously and I have to say I stay away from shops most of the time now. However, in your Mrs situation getting access to online shopping could run the risk of stacks of parcels and deliveries turning up at your door. I guess you probably work but is there anyway shopping could be something you do together or does that cause an upset as she feels she wants to do it and does not perceive the difficulties? Best Wishes


Wow! wow!! wow !!....what? Are you guys serious? ????? Oh my god! !!!...I can't believe I am a victim of this! !!! I had bacterial meningitis in October 2011 as some people already know. On my discharge I'm june 2012, I was kept at a care home until December 2012 as my Mrs as already left me while I was still in the hospital. So I've no one to help me do my personal shopping. I took to online shopping. Ever since then, I realize that I couldn't stop myself from buying stuff online. To the extent that In August 2012, I was a victim of online fraud of £3600.00 from my savings . It pained me so much to loose that money because I have not worked for more than one year. I reported to the police but I was told that the person that defrauded me was operating a fake account, so nothing could be done and the case was closed. I cried myself to sleep. Yet I couldn't stay off internet. Last Christmas, I spent so much money buying myself so much clothes online but 80% of all my shopping were either not my size or too fake products. I spent equal amount of money sending them back for refunds. I keep blaming myself for spending far too much, yet I kept shopping and couldn't stop myself.

Wow! You guys have given me a clue, a big revelation to me. I have never in my mind associated or linked this to meningitis at all. What do I do now? Who is the most appropriate authority to consult? I have had 10 sessions of counseling thanks to meningitis trust. But never raised the issue as I didn't think it got to do with meningitis. ???


Aaaah Vasco Vasco Vasco my heart feels so upset for you. You have been so severly damaged by the BM. I keep thinking I've heard all the problems the nasty BM has left you with then yet more surface. I am not minimising my difficulties but gosh you have much much worse adverse effects than me to adapt too both physical and mental (brain injury). We shouldn't compare our problems with each other as it is the impact on our personal lives that is the measure of difficulty but with you I can't help but feel all things considered I got off a lot more lightly than you. Yet I will say my struggles with the damage done to me post meningitis seem devastating to me and the loss of how I was before and yearn to be again. I wish and I know you to would join me in wishing if only the clock could be turned back! I am wondering which medical professionals you still have involved with you because you definately need to start telling them that you have this problem and maybe they can help you with some stratagies to manage it and control your spending a bit. Sadly as I said to Dene it is possibly unlikey that this problem will now recover. Its about trying to manage it I guess. Did you have MRI scan and know which part of your brain has been damaged. As this knowledge will also help you understand what sorts of problems you are likely to encounter. Along with the helpful meningitis trust booklets, Headway also do some good ones about Brain Injury which might help reassure you your difficulties are not imagined but genuine post brain injury problems. Best wishes


Hi strawberrycream ...

Honest to god, I have never imagined that there could be a connection between the two. You are 100% correct, I've been damaged beyond what I could have imagined. It scares me a lot, my situation now whenever I think about it. I always tell myself 'try to make yourself happy '. The reality of my sickness made me realize that I have to try and be happy. What more have I got? I guess it was a way to compensate myself for going through hell. I kinda not realize fully what complications my bacteria meningitis has left me. It's an uphill task trying to pick up the pieces. Just like me, you also have gone through a lot.

At the moment, I am still receiving treatment from the plastic surgeon, an otholorengologist, ENT doctor, a neurologist, orthotist and the rehabilitation consultant. I'm still picking the pieces. I got an appointment with neurologist come next Monday, I hope to raise the issue with him

During my hospitalization ,I had so many and countless MRI scans, CT scans, x rays. It was a multi disciplinary type of treatment between the emergency, plastic, infections disease, audiology/cochlear implant, and rehabilitation departments . I'm still getting treatment from all of these departments


Again thanks for the replys

Yes shopping i do most of it as i said Mrs just cant cope doing it or being in busy places

im not working we as a family spend most of the time in around the mrs she has someone with her 24/7 and lots of family close by that helps

Doc says similar to you strawberrycream Mrs needs to come to turns with

what she was before her oldself has gone but the brain problem area is the part thats stopping her coming to terms with her condition she will one day he says.she regularly lets some steam off and thats frustration over her condition etc


sorry for your situation i hope thing improve get your local adult social services to come and see you ring them they'll come and see you and do a report on your circumstances there is help out there were registered with them for help emergency's etc they are good imo

your post sounds compulsive like my Mrs Clothes habit im convinced Wifes actions are because of OCD.(another thing for docs to look at)

OCD Can be associated with the Frontal lobe of the brain a common part effected by meningitis


Hi dene,

Thanks for the direction. To be quite honest with you, I have been a familiar face in my borough's council headquarter. My social worker, housing officer and independent support worker have seen enough of me. I have been in a situation where I am been directed and redirected from pillar to post. There is hardly any office I have never entered with my wheelchair. I guess they are tired of me. The hard part of it all is the fact that they treat and talk to me like any other normal guy out there. I don't hear most of what the say because I am using cochlear implant devices due to the fact that I lost my hearing 100% to bacteria meningitis. What more can I do? They keep telling me that I am not the only person that needs help. I'm just tired of it all. So I tell myself 'get on with it ' it's only when you are in needy situation that you Will realize that all these helps are so hard to get. It's really hard


Sorry to hear about your problems vasco

i just went by our own experiences everything has been there when needed etc never come across any real hurdles, but that mostly kicked in 18months ago all the best its a long journey and we've only just started. take care.


Hi Dene, I am sure my husband would have some very similar experiences to yours. I dont think I had the shopping phase, but I did buy a ton of food that went uncooked, mostly because O didnt have the energy to cook it. I always ran out of steam in the supermarkets, too much stimulation I think, similarly using the computer, or going to the cinema. I found I could have a conversation with one or two people but any more was just too stressful, thats the brain saying its had enough I guess. I sympathise greatly with Vasco, there is an element of cheering yourself up, and I did find I was more compulsive buying anything, and often made gross errors of judgement. That all seems to have improved greatly thank goodness, or else I would be in a sorry financial state! I think its best not to push the shpping thing, ie. supermarket shopping. I found I would go in and be fine for about 5 minutes then completely run out of steam, thats when you are vulnerable and buy "rubbish" when you should really be getting home and sitting quiet. Hard to make these changes from your "normal" self though. Its been a long journey, as you say for both of us, but I think we have become even more precious to each other and you never know it might be me who becomes the carer in our later years, I only hope I can do it half so well if thats so.


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