This article examines the ways in which sufferers talk about early stroke and the effects this chronic condition has on identity. Traditional research into chronic illness has largely used medical, psychiatric or cognitive models. We adopt a social constructionist perspective and use a discourse analytic methodology to study data collected via focus group interaction. Analysis of the data collected shows that participants displayed sensitivity about having acquired a potentially 'damaged' sense of self by mitigating negative features of their experiences. Participants also attended to the issue of whether their accounts were persuasive or believable. Some carers were present in these discussions. As a consequence, participants who had suffered a stroke displayed sensitivity to the way that carers might respond to mitigation of the negative aspects of stroke.