Depression and Stroke
What is Depression?
Major depressive disorder, or depression, is a serious mental illness. Depression interferes with your daily life and routine and reduces your quality of life. About 6.7 percent of U.S. adults ages 18 and older have depression.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- Ongoing sad, anxious, or empty feelings
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling guiltily, worthless, or helpless
- Feeling irritable or restless
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once enjoyable, including six
- Feeling tired all the time
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, a condition called insomnia, or sleeping all the time
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Thoughts of death and suicide or suicide attempts
- Ongoing aches and pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease with treatment.
How are Depression and Stroke Linked?
Many people require mental health treatment after a stroke to address depression, anxiety, frustration, or anger. Several factors may affect the risk and severity of depression after a stroke, including:
- Area of the brain where stroke damage occurred
- Personal or family history of depression or other mood or anxiety disorders
- Level of social isolation before the stroke.
- Stroke survivors who are depressed may be less likely to follow treatment plans and may be more irritable or have changes in personality.
How is Depression Treated in People Who have had a Stroke?
Depression is diagnosed and treated by a health care provider. Treating depression and other mental disorders may help stroke recovery. After a stroke, treatment with antidepressant medications or problem-solving therapy may prevent serious depression before it begins.
Recovery from depression takes time but treatments are effective. If you are depressed or know someone who is, don’t lose hope. Seek help for depression and talk to your health care provider.
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