Around half of stroke survivors suffer depression in the first year following their stroke.

Depression can happen at any time following a stroke. It can develop soon afterwards or sometimes it can happen several months later. It can range from mild to severe and can last from a few weeks to over a year.

The most common symptoms of depression are:

  • feeling sad, blue or down in the dumps,
  • losing interest in everyday activities and not being able to enjoy the things you used to,
  • finding it difficult to concentrate or make decisions,
  • feeling anxious or worrying a lot,
  • changes in your sleep pattern – being unable to sleep or sleeping too much,
  • changes in your appetite – eating too much or too little,
  • loss of energy,
  • suicidal feelings,
  • physical aches and pains,
  • self harming,
  • loss of sex drive or sexual difficulties,
  • avoiding people, and
  • loss of self esteem or self confidence.

If you think you may be depressed, speak to your doctor. The sooner you receive help and support, the sooner you are likely to feel better.

The most effective treatment is counselling, combined, if appropriate, with anti-depressant medication, but your doctor will help you find the treatment that is best for you.


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