Many seniors face depression after they endure a stoke. Unfortunately, this condition often goes untreated in many older adults. Most people ignore the fact that emotional and mental health is as equally important as physical health. This is why depression that comes after having a stroke needs to be taken seriously. But can stroke actually cause depression? Read our article and find out.
Can Stroke Actually Cause Depression?
Inability to Perform ADLs
The number of people that experience depression in the weeks, months and even years after having a stroke is staggering. Almost 30% of elderly patients who have a stroke fall into depression. Strokes often come suddenly, without prior notice, and just like that, they change a senior’s life. Most people who become disabled after experiencing a stroke feel depressed about their life. When they become unable to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), depression follows. The independent life they led before their stoke is now dependent on someone else, and a feeling of hopelessness appears.
Sustained Brain Damage
In some cases, the brain gets damaged after a stroke and the elderly can easily become depressive after this happens. According to some studies, stroke affects the part of the mind which is involved with depression. If the brain circuits responsible for depression get damaged during a stroke, the senior will experience post-stroke depression. Some studies show that elderly adults who had issues with depression before a stroke are more likely to suffer it again after the stroke.
The gender group that is more likely to experience post-stroke depression is women. The odds are 2:1 that women will experience it rather than men. This is likely because women have more lesions in the brain on their left hemisphere, although, it hasn’t been proven that brain lesions can create depression.
What to Look For
Post-stroke depression is a severe condition which often goes undetected and untreated. The symptoms that will point you in the direction of this condition are sleep disturbances, change in appetite, social withdrawal, loss of interest in hobbies, and difficulty concentrating.
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