Be alert to warning signs of depression after a stroke
Stroke and Depression: Page 2
It's not always easy to recognize depression. In the case of someone who's had a stroke, the situation can be even more complicated. If a patient has trouble talking or understanding language, it might be especially difficult to recognize depression. Increased emotional liability -- sudden and extreme mood swings, common after a stroke -- may also hide symptoms of depression.
You may also think he has good reason to feel depressed. After all, he's just had a stroke and can't do the things he used to be able to do. But there's a difference between the normal grieving process and depression. The warning signs of depression include:
- Frequent crying episodes
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Poor appetite or increased appetite
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Increased agitation and restlessness
- Loss of interest in life
- Expressing thoughts of dying or suicide
A stroke survivor should be evaluated for depression if he has had several of these symptoms for more than two weeks.