According to a new study that was recently published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, depression after a stroke occurs in 33 percent of the survivors. This new study also found that it is the uncertainty of how sick they will be that determines the patient’s chance of depression. Lastly, this study found that men are more likely to become depressed after a stroke than women.
“Male stroke survivors in the U.S. who subscribe to traditional health-related beliefs may be accustomed to, and value highly, being in control of their health,” says lead investigator Michael J. McCarthy, PhD, of the University of Cincinnati College of Health Sciences School of Social Work. “For these individuals, loss of control due to infirmity caused by stroke could be perceived as a loss of power and prestige. These losses, in turn, may result in more distress and greater depressive syndromes.”
During the research, scientists discovered that the survivors’ depression symptoms were measured. They then analyzed how much the survivors were suffering from the ambiguity of their health and not knowing how their sickness would turn out. The survivors who didn’t how their health was going to turn out were far more depressed — men more so than women.
“These findings suggest that reducing health ambiguity through proactive communication with patients and family members may be an effective approach for reducing survivor distress and, ultimately, for improving rehabilitation outcomes,” McCarthy says. “They also reinforce the importance of rehabilitation professionals acknowledging that health-related beliefs can have a tangible impact on patient outcomes.”
Antidepressants like Paxil are generally used to treat the depression once the condition develops. Paxil has been linked to numerous different side effects. Paxil is an SSRI-class medication used to treat various conditions including depression, OCD and bipolar disorder. The drug has also been linked with dangerous side effects like violent and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and birth defects (PPHN, spina bifida, cleft palate, neural tube defects) in babies whose mothers take the drugs while pregnant.