Stroke survivors more prone to depression

According to a new study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke, people who have survived a stroke or a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) or more communally referred to as a ‘mini-stroke’ are more likely to suffer from depression but are two thirds less likely to receive treatment.

A stroke takes place when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, this suspends the flow of blood into and around the brain, causing the death of brain cells and can result in permanent brain damage and disabilities. The medical profession knows less about what occurs with a TIA; broadly it is defined as a brief episode of ‘neurological dysfunction’.

The occurrences of both strokes and Transient Ischaemic Attacks lead to physical damage within the brain and high stress levels. It is believed that these physical changes instigate a variety of psychological effects, for example stroke victims often report difficulty controlling their emotions, personality changes often arise but depression is reported to be the most frequent psychological change.

Mindfulness is recognised as one of the most valued means of addressing symptoms of depression, additionally for people who have suffered from a physical illness, mindfulness can help address the emotions such as anger, frustration and can aid the acceptance process.

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