Sadness is different from depression. Sadness is usually intermittent in that it comes and goes. It is perfectly normal to feel sad or lost after suffering a stroke. Sadness that does not leave may indicate depression.
Most stroke survivors and their loved ones may slip into clinical depression. It is vital to know the signs for easy recognition and to get qualified help. Depression can impede your recovery, and fortunately, there are treatment options.
Physical signs of depression;
- Subtle or exaggerated changes in sleep pattern (insomnia or oversleeping)
- Changes in eating pattern
- Weight gain or loss without actively trying to
- Tiredness and lesser energy
- Feelings of restlessness
- Relentless headaches
- Chronic pain and or gastric problems
Emotional signs of depression:
- Feelings of sadness, irritability, nervousness, worthlessness, or hopelessness
- Lack of interest in previous interests
- Difficulty in focusing, forgetfulness, and finding it hard to make decisions
- Persistent thoughts about suicide and death.
- Changes in vitality and energy levels
If you notice one or more of these symptoms for over two weeks, ensure to contact your caregiver. Treatment options can be either discussion with an expert, medication, or both.
In dealing with illnesses, especially one as severe as a stroke, there is a higher risk of depression. Naturally, you may want to keep your feelings a secret, but this may only serve to delay your recovery.
It’s good to have a safe space where you can open with exactly how you feel at all times and where you will be encouraged; it could be a support group or with family or friends.