Obviously there are specific brain functions that change due to stroke. But it is also important to look at how it can affect your live. Many stroke patients exhibit various limitations to daily activities. Patients who get stroke with at least medium severity may develop a new disability, for example, decreased ability to socialize, do household tasks, use transportation and perform vocational functions.
Changes in personality
Some new impacts of stroke have no direct relationship with the physical disabilities. Reduced socialization and decreased interest, for example, are common complications of stroke. This might be caused by transportation difficulty and language problems. So, it can be concluded that, stroke causes physical limitations as well as social impairments.
Many spouses and caregivers often report that they face problem when dealing with a family member who has a stroke. Most describe that someone who experiences a recent stroke attack can become less patient, less active, less capable, less independent, less in control, less confident, less energetic, less stable and less easygoing. Based on researches nearly a half of stroke patients appear to be more irritated, frustrated, distressed, and unhappy than they were before a stroke attack. Further, some of them also present more irritability, unreasonableness and dissatisfaction than before. As a whole, behavioral and emotional changes put more burden on the people caring for and living with the stroke patient than the physical disabilities do. These changes may also slow the stroke recovery process.
Stroke victims may not be aware that their impatience and frustrations may manifest in actions that negatively affect family members. Think about it; brushing your teeth is easy, you can do it properly even when you’re half asleep in the morning. Now, no matter how hard you try you can’t do it right. You get frustrated and impatient. You may throw things and yell. Then you begin to find that those around you seem to be avoiding you. The truth is, an important part of adjusting with a stroke aftermath is learning to accept your new limitations. Perhaps this article will help you establish some realistic expectations for your future. Predicting our future is no more accurate than predicting the weather for one week ahead, but you need to start somewhere. At least, you can determine whether your future is likely to be sunny, partly cloudy or overcast with a fifty percent chance of rain. In most stroke cases, the weather in six months will be much brighter than it is today.
A good way to improve you situation after a stroke attack is by learning new ways to do everything, one part comes from rewiring your brain and the other depends on how you accept the changes and continue with your life.
Depression after stroke
Moderate to severe depression affects about half of stroke survivors who return home. A depression period usually lasts a little longer than six months and if left untreated, it may dramatically slow the recovery process. In general, depression after stroke is resulting from unhappy situations and it is a normal emotional reaction. Thankfully, depression can be treated effectively. The biggest obstacle is to live with its consequences, having the audacity to talk with your physician, to get an effective treatment and sometimes you need to take anti-depressant drugs, just like many health disorders, there some affordable, generic drugs for treating depression. You may think that you have taken enough pills already, things have been hard and you need to continue struggling. This attitude is understandable when you’re coping with physical limitations and dealing with post-stroke hardships. However, by failing to address your depression, you may hold yourself back from effectively adjusting to life after stroke.
Depression is a lot more than just unhappiness. People who aren’t depressed can still feel miserable. Depression is a frame of mind – a general state of brain, which involve a decline in mental energy. The symptoms are usually fatigue, social withdrawal, lack of interest, and irritability. These may seem familiar to you. They can make those who live with you frustrated and unhappy. These symptoms can also lead people to cancel their therapy appointments, and forget to do a daily exercises. Treating depression is essential for recovering from stroke.
How do you know that you are depressed? You should start by asking those you spend time with, for example, therapists, caregivers and family members. Many nurses are especially good at detecting depression. Be careful, though, that some people won’t be frank with you. It is particularly true for those who are close to you. Even your spouse may fear that acknowledging your depression may make your situation worse.
Approach your depression problem with a loved one or spouse to improve your motivation and focus to delve deeper to your current situation. Under such circumstances, you’re more likely to obtain honest and objective feedbacks. But even if your spouse conveys that you don’t “look” depressed, yet you feel unhappy, uneasy, or hollow inside, then it is important to consult a psychiatrist.
Likewise, family members or caregivers should pursue a quality conversation with a stroke victim if they suspect mental disturbance is an issue. Unfortunately, stroke sufferers tend to be angry and impatient as they are trying to get used to their condition. Start conversation only at a “neutral” moment and if you’re unable to communicate effectively, share your concern with the psychiatrist.
Of course if psychiatrists suspect depression, they will explore that possibility. But to accurately diagnose a condition, your psychiatrist must have all the jigsaw pieces. Although a psychiatrist may be able to identify signs of depression after a short follow-up examination, often these tests are rushed and emphasize on more immediate emotional concerns. To ensure that all depression issues are addressed, it’s important that family members and stroke survivor raise such concerns during a doctor visit.