Surviving a stroke is a hard thing to do. Just ask anyone who’s done it. Depression can easily hit home. A stroke survivor may have to depend other people for things as simple as changing a light bulb. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that stroke is the leading cause of death in U.S., killing nearly 130,000 Americans each year. Yet more than 795,000 people suffer a stroke each year, leaving hundreds of thousands to cope with recovery when they get back home. But it’s not only the victims themselves who struggle-caregivers, too, can undergo a lot of stress while trying to help a loved one and adapt to their situation.
According to a recent study, if the patient and the caregiving spouse disagree on how the stroke victim is doing in his recovery, the caregiving spouse maybe at significant risk for emotional stress and depression.
Researchers from the University of Cincinnati interviewed 35 couples in which one spouse had suffered a stroke within the past three years. They talked to each person, including how they were doing at everyday tasks, how their memory was performing, and how they were managing any problems they came up against.
Researchers explained that if the wife was the one who had suffered a stroke, she may have said that she believed she could still drive, or that she was recovering enough to do more task around the house. If her husband disagreed, saying she couldn’t drive or he had noticed little difference in her abilities to do everyday tasks, he would be more at risk for depression symptoms.
Unfortunately, caregivers rarely have anyone to care for them, so they have to watch out for their own well being. That may not always be easy-caregivers normally put the needs of the stroke survivor over their own, which is typically a recipe for burn-out and health problems.
If your spouse suffered, here are some tips to take care of yourself. Always look for support, educate yourself, get help, focus on your own health, and don’t neglect your own life.