Depression after a brain injury like stroke, is common. It can be related to the change in the way the brain works or to your emotional reaction to your new situation, or both.
Additionally, you may be suffering from fatigue. Feeling tired is very common after a stroke – you may feel too tired to do things, things you used to enjoy and this can get you down. Four in 10 people experience depression in the first few months after stroke. It can also affect close family members who learning how to cope as well.
The first thing to realise, is that you’re not on your own. This week to mark National Stroke Survivor day – we’re here to help with practical steps to boost your mental wellbeing.
We all need a sense of purpose and having a daily routine is very important for our sense of purpose in our day.
Keeping in contact with friends and family
When you’re feeling down, it’s easy to fall into a trap of not wanting to see anyone or talk to anyone. But this is exactly the time to force yourself to do the opposite of what you feel and arrange to see friends or family. Visiting or seeing friends and family is an important part of your routine and the more you stay in contact, the better you will feel.
Do things you like to do
Ask yourself – what makes me feel good? What do I enjoy doing? Now put a plan in place to do the those things that give you pleasure. It doesn’t have to be elaborate – it may be simple things like getting out in the garden.
Talk about it
It’s good to talk about your feelings with someone you feel comfortable with. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one and having the support of someone you trust will make you feel better and may help you see things differently. You should also discuss your depression with your GP or Health Care Professional. There are many types of treatment that can help.
Eating unhealthy foods can add to feelings of fatigue or sluggishness or consuming too much caffeine can affect sleep patterns. Making an effort to eat healthily by aiming to eat 5 fruit and veg a day and cutting down on foods high in sugar, salt and fat, can help your energy levels. Additionally, getting regular exercise will make you feel good. It’s a good goal to build up to 30 minutes a day.