How to Press Through Depression After a Stroke

I was so sad and depressed after my stroke.  What just hit me?  Why me?  It felt like the world had stopped and I was a casualty in a war that I didn’t even see coming.  It was unfair and I was angry.  I became deeply depressed –  I just wanted to die.   Fortunately, depression can be treated.   It took all my faith, support from friends and professional assistance to help pull me out of the dark abyss I had fallen into. Little-by- little I began to see glimpses of hope shining through the curtains I had shut on life.  There was life after stroke, and more.   This was a challenge – a mountain to climb.  A big challenge,  but why not scale it?   I knew all about challenges.  I was a hard worker professionally, a student of life – I was athletic and loved competition.  So, for me, I viewed my stroke as a fight against the enemy of life, and I wasn’t going to let him beat me.  Pray my friends, ask God for help, reach out to others for assistance, talk about it, otherwise it could adversely effect your recovery and then the “enemy” wins.  We don’t want that.   God has a special plan for your life.  Believe. You are more than a conqueror!

Post-stroke depression (PSD) is considered the most common neuropsychiatric consequence of stroke.  Approximately one-third of stroke survivors experience major depression. Moreover this condition can have an adverse effect on cognitive function,  functional recovery and survival.

For additional resources on Depression after stroke, please download the comprehensive handout from The Ohio State University Medical Center.

The American Stroke Association reports that about 40 to 50 percent of stroke survivors experience depression, which can occur soon after the stroke or several months later. So whether it’s in response to what you have lost or as a result of brain injury, your depression should be treated.



9 Comments on this article

  • Christin McLeod June 14, 2011

    Thank you so very much for sharing this. I am a stroke survivor and have been battling depression since. I have not found much information on this phenomenon and have at times felt there was something wrong with me. But I know how real it is…thank you!


  • Gini June 23, 2011

    Talking it out should be number one.
    Exercise or go play Wii ! Exercise will raise your happy endorphine levels.
    Keeping a daily Gratitude Journal and writing 5 things to be Thankful for and reading it hours later.
    Find a happy movie to watch.
    Call Friends or someone in the family you care about and cares about you.


    • Valerie, Bcenter Founder June 24, 2011


      My journal turned into my first book. I started writing a bit each day never thinking it would end up becoming a book. One day I let a close friend read it and she said “Val, you’ve written a book”, “this will help alot of people going through stroke” .

      So, you never know. Start writing. Express yourself. Just get it out of you.

      Thank you Gini,


  • 5pointwellness September 13, 2011

    Everyone says I look fine… “You seem fine”
    But inside I’m not me anymore:/ I sruggle to keep up with the world wizzzzing past me…
    I’m to exhausted to keep up, I want to hide.


    • Valerie, Bcenter Founder September 13, 2011

      I hear you! No one understands that more than another stroke survivor. Lets start with one thing at a time. Tell me what you are unable to do now or that is challenging for you.

      We care and are here to support you!


  • Tamara Pots June 22, 2012

    Listening to music and attempting a dance move, helps me a lot. And funny movies.

    My biggest problem are my looks. I used to be hot in a dress with high heels and long blond hair extensions. Right now I’m growing my own hair (which is thin) and I have a dent in my head, caused by a hemicraniectomy to save my life. I’m so ashamed of myself that I’m hiding inside my house a lot of the time. I try to walk a lot in my living room and twice a week I’m in a rehab facility. I feel safe over there because I’m surrounded by people in wheelchairs, mobility scooters and walkers. They also don’t know how I used to look.
    Still I don’t give up, giving up is not an option. I’m on a waiting list for surgery to fix the dent in my head and hair grows….


    • Valerie, Bcenter Founder June 26, 2012

      Tamara I know just how you feel. I was there and felt the same way. It took a while for me to even be able to lift my head and look at people in the face. Then one day I realized that once I saw myself as beautiful and lifted my head up my body started changing. I learned that the body accommodates the mind. In other words our thoughts and how we see ourselves can actually create a result.

      Watch the video on the about Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) . This and prayer will flood your mind with positive reinforcement and your body will respond accordingly. Believe me, the beauty inside will burst out and you will become even hotter than you ever were – from the inside out!

      Regarding your hair. Sounds like you need hydration. Read up on this on the Hydration page. 85% of our brain is water. Hair follicules need water and the right water is essential!!!

      Stay in touch. I’m here for you.


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