Depression and Anxiety

Depression is a commonly reported consequence of stroke and is seen in anywhere from 25-50% of patients. Post-stroke depression may involve depressed mood and decreased interest and pleasure that impairs social and occupational functioning, but does not necessarily need to meet the full criteria of a major depressive disorder.

Stroke in any specific part of the brain does not appear to correlate with the occurrence of depression. Rather, it is other psychological factors lead to the development of depression including personal and social losses related to the physical disabilities often caused by a stroke.

The incidence of post-stroke depression peaks at 3–6 months and usually resolves within 1–2 years after the stroke, although a minority of patients can go on to develop chronic depression. The diagnosis of post-stroke depression is complicated by other consequences of stroke such as fatigue and psychomotor retardation which do not necessarily indicate the presence of depression. Loss of interest in activities and relationships should prompt an evaluation for depression.

Diagnosing Depression 

An episode titled Diagnosing Depression was broadcast by the ABC’s Catalyst program on Tuesday 6 October 2015. Its summary is included below.

“For most medical problems there’s a test or a series of tests to help determine the diagnosis, but what about depression? New research using technology to analyse facial expressions, voice modulation, and head and body posture, in response to a series of screen images, may be the key to diagnosing depression.” 

Click on this link to view this program.

Copyright © 2017 Boroondara Stroke Support Group Inc.

March 25, 2017