Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)


Distress

Issues that are likely to make someone feel distressed after a stroke

This list is not exhaustive. There are many reasons why individuals can be distressed after stroke. The cumulative effect of these changes can have a significant impact on someone’s self-esteem, and can lead them to feel like they’ve lost their sense of identity; that they are no longer the person they were before.

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Loss of independence

People may have problems with mobility and communication following a stroke and may not be able to do some things by/for themselves. This may be very distressing for them. They also may feel that they are a burden to others.

Being unable to return to work/resume hobbies

If someone is unable to return to work and take part in activities that they enjoyed, this may make them feel upset and also may lower their self-esteem.

Having to move from their own home to a care setting

If someone is unable to live on their own and be independent they may find this extremely distressing.

Being unable to communicate easily

This can cause a great deal of distress and anxiety to someone if they cannot communicate with other people. They may have problems communication because they have difficulties with speech/language (oral and written) or understanding, or indeed all of these methods of communication.

Having to stop driving

Being unable to drive may reduce the persons independence and make them feel isolated.

Altered relationships

Following a stroke may people may have difficulties in relationships. This can be for many and varied reasons but will cause distress and anxiety.

The brain damage itself

If certain areas of the brain are damaged it can cause emotionalism such as crying or laughing inappropriately. Brain damage to certain areas may also result in depression or anxiety.

Page last reviewed: 18 Oct 2020