Watch out for depression after a stroke

  • Mind
  • Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Sleep problems like insomnia is one of the symptoms of depression, which can follow a stroke. — dpa

Having a stroke can be difficult enough due to the physical impact on your body, but for many, it is also followed by a spell of depression.

Around one-third of patients develop depression and require treatment within the first year, according to the German Brain Foundation.

Those affected may be finding it hard to motivate themselves to carry out everyday tasks, for example.

They might realise that they no longer feel much joy even when they are doing things they always enjoyed, such as spending time with their grandchildren.

Some people start feeling insecure, afraid and hopeless.

Feelings like these are a normal part of coping with a stroke, says neuropsychologist Caroline Kuhn.

They often subside over time, especially if you share them with family members and friends that you trust.

But if being patient and sharing those feelings does not help alleviate them in the long run, this suggests depression is the problem.

A sense of being overwhelmed by your feelings can also be a sign.

Depression can also emerge months after someone suffers from a stroke, when it seems like the worst is over.

If you suspect that you or someone you care about is suffering this way, then it may be best to talk to your family doctor or neurologist.

They can suggest further steps such as psychotherapy, for example. – dpa

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