Mental Health Issues Developing Following a Stroke Should Not Be Ignored

Strokes are a common event worldwide and are a leading cause of long-term health care. Many family members are unaware of the increased mental health problems resulting from strokes. Depression, mood swings, and anxiety should be treated as well.

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Mental Health Issues Developing Following a Stroke Should Not Be Ignored
5 Min Read March 18th, 2022

Strokes are dramatic health events, and most of us know that many physical problems can occur due to a stroke. With medical advances, the number of people who survive a stroke and live with its consequences grows every year. But strokes are dangerous and are the second leading cause of death worldwide. Strokes have an annual mortality rate of about 5.5 million. 

Strokes have a high mortality rate, but about 50% of survivors are chronically disabled. Worldwide 13.7 million people have a stroke. The CDC says that a stroke impacts almost 800,000 people in the United States. There are approximately 152,000 strokes in the U.K. every year. In Canada, 50,000 people have a stroke annually, 50,000 annually in Australia, 10,000 in Ireland, and 900 in New Zealand.

Mental Health Issues Resulting from a Stroke

Depression, mood swings, and anxiety can result from a stroke but sometimes get ignored. The physical problems resulting from a stroke are evident, and strokes are a leading cause of long-term health care. But there is an emotional part of the equation. Research suggests that those who suffer from a stroke are at higher risk of anxietydepression, or both. Strokes affect a person's mental health and add another dimension for both professional and family caregivers and families. 

Strokes happen quickly and suddenly, changing a person's life within seconds. Like many medical events, a stroke can affect a person's mental and emotional well-being. Most of the time, people focus on the physical ailments that a stroke causes, pushing aside the importance of its effects on a person's mental health.

However, mental well-being is slowly making its way into the limelight as more people begin to understand the critical role it plays in a person's life. 


Experiencing a stroke can be traumatizing. Many stroke survivors tend to become more anxious due to the fear that another stroke could be around the corner. Anxiety manifests itself through racing thoughts, worst-case scenarios playing in a person's head, agitation, shortness of breath, and failure to perform specific tasks due to intense fears. Treatment for anxiety often includes therapy and medication.


People commonly experience depression after strokes because of the quick and significant changes in their lives. After a stroke, it can be challenging for someone to return to the life they knew prior to the stroke. 

The stroke victims' ability to complete daily living activities often diminishes, eliminating numerous activities from their lifestyle. This change in their style of living may make them feel helpless.

Depression consists of heavy negative emotions, lack of energy, thoughts of suicide, and feelings of helplessness, among other signs. Treatments for depression are often similar to those used for anxiety: therapy and medication.


The numerous lifestyle changes can also create feelings of frustration. After strokes, many people feel their freedom has been stripped from them, as they now face multiple limitations and have to rely heavily on others. 

Further frustration may occur from the anger of experiencing a stroke and its aftereffects. Sometimes people blame themselves or hold a lot of anger because they underwent such an event and are no longer the same as before.


A stroke affects a person's brain and its various functions. The brain controls people's emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. After a stroke, overwhelming feelings may wash through without warning and make it hard for one to control their emotions. Sometimes it's challenging for people to understand or be patient with their emotional outbursts because they happen suddenly. There can be a heightened level of sadness, anger, irritation, and confusion.

The American Stroke Association says that acceptance on the part of the stroke victim can be helpful. Acceptance doesn't mean giving up. Stroke victims should be encouraged to stop mourning the past and look toward the future. Families and friends can be beneficial in providing positive support and encouragement.

There are many ways to support a loved one after a stroke, but if you are a family member, understand the emotions that the stroke victim may be going through and learns ways you can be supportive. Encourage your friend or family member to try to remain social and engage in life as best they can. More people regain some independence even after a serious stroke, but it takes work and support.

While there are people that recover with little or no residues from the stroke, many will need long-term health care either at home or in a facility. Caregiving is very demanding on family members both physically and emotionally. Professional care is costly, and those costs are increasing. 

Use Insurance Benefits if Available

If the stroke victim has Long-Term Care Insurance, be sure they use their benefits. Sometimes families try to take on the responsibilities when they would be better off, and the care recipient would be better off with professionally trained care.

Be sure the care recipient gets treated for any anxiety or depression they may be suffering from due to the stroke. The mental health problems can be just as significant as physical problems. 

You can get help finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not, by using the support offered through LTC NEWS. LTC NEWS can connect you with free - no-obligation support and claims processing of LTC Insurance - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

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About the Author

Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.

LTC News Contributor Mallory Knee

Mallory Knee

Contributor since September 25th, 2020

Editor's Note

The reality of getting older is declining health. Sometimes this decline is slow and gradual. Other times it happens quickly, like from the result of a stroke or other dramatic event. No matter, the changes in health, body, and mind mean an increased risk of needing help with daily living activities - even a higher chance of dementia.

The consequences are real and affect families and finances. Being prepared will make aging easier for your entire family. Professional caregivers are expensive, and the cost of both in-home care and long-term care facilities is rising at an alarming pace. Family caregivers find it very difficult to balance their lives with that of a caregiver.

The solution is affordable Long-Term Care Insurance. When you own an LTC policy, you own a solution that gives you access to the quality care you deserve - either at home or in a quality facility. Your loved ones can concentrate on being supportive instead of being caregivers.

You cannot wait until you have a stroke or experience declining health to obtain coverage. Long-Term Care Insurance is medically underwritten, so it is easier and less expensive to address the problem when you are younger and still enjoy reasonably good health.

Most people obtain their coverage in their 50s, some even younger.

Seek Professional Guidance

Planning for future long-term health care is too important to leave to an untrained insurance agent or financial advisor. You need a skilled and experienced specialist to guide you through the many options and differences between insurance companies. A qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will be best able to help you and your family.

Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, insurance companies' premiums vary over 100% for the same coverage, and underwriting criteria vary between insurance companies. 

A Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will work with the top companies so they can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Finding Quality Care for Mom or Dad

Start by reading our four guides -  

If they are lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea. 

Get Help in Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim

Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care. If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help.

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work, free with no obligation. 

Get help finding quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

Benefits of Reverse Mortgages 

Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.  

Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

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You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.

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