Mental Attitude and Mood Swings

By Chris DeWald


I began my journey into the realm of mood swings and attitude. Many readers indicated that these were arenas where they would like more input. I have amassed a great deal of reference sections and general ideas from many sources of study.


When I began searching, I surprised by the amount of material that appeared with “attitude” was sourced from Stroke Network web pages. I was fascinated when I started reading the material and posts together with the reference sites.




These facts all according to



  • Of particular significance, depression often co-occurs with stroke. When this happens, the presence of the additional illness, depression, is frequently unrecognized, leading to serious and unnecessary consequences for patients and families.


  • Though depressed feelings can be a common reaction to a stroke, clinical depression is not the expected reaction. For this reason, when present, specific treatment should be considered for clinical depression even in the presence of a stroke.


  • Appropriate diagnosis and treatment of depression may bring substantial benefits to the patient through improved medical status, enhanced quality of life, a reduction in the degree of pain and disability, and improved treatment compliance. The association between depression and stroke has long been recognized for its negative impact on an individual's rehabilitation, family relationships, and quality of life. Appropriate diagnosis and treatment of depression can shorten the rehabilitation process and lead to more rapid recovery and resumption of routine. It can also save health care costs (e.g., eliminate nursing home expenses).


  • Of the 600,000 Americans who experience a first or recurrent stroke each year, an estimated 10-27 percent experience major depression. An additional 15-40 percent experience depressive symptomatology (not major depression) within two months following the stroke.


  • Three-fourths of strokes occur in people 65 years of age and over. With stroke a leading cause of disability in older persons, proper recognition and treatment of depression in this population is particularly important.


  • The mean duration of major depression in stroke patients has been shown to be just under a year.


  • Among the factors that effect the likelihood and severity of depression following a stroke are the location of the brain lesion, previous or family history of depression, and pre-stroke social functioning.


  • Post-stroke patients who are also depressed, particularly those with major depressive disorder, are less compliant with rehabilitation, more irritable and demanding, and may experience personality change.





Some say anti-depressants should begin immediately after a stroke. Speaking for myself, I was prescribed the antidepressant Lexapro immediately even though I did not feel a need. This site explains the positive side of using antidepressants.


This site explains differences in left and right brain strokes. Be sure to check out the Table of Contents box at the top.


A site which talks about mood swings is


To read what some Stroke Network members have to say go to . Go the left side of our homefront and look for search. Enter mood swings. Search on the message board at for other member comments. Click Community Links, Search.


To read info from Stroke Network partner, Healthology click:
. This web page includes a link to a video discussing signs of depressant. If you think you or a loved one may be depressed check out this information.




In closing I offer two videos about “Attitude.”. Don’t give in. Mood swings affect our caregivers and families.


The first video is me talking about attitude.


This site is especially for music and horse lovers. The song sounds like survivors with attitude.  



Editor’s Note:


Antidepressants are a common approach to reducing depression, but it not the only method.  If you do choose the drug method it may take some time working with your doctor to discover the correct drug and dosage for your situation.


Click  to hear a doctor on WebMD discuss pharmaceuticals available and side effects. To the right of the video, is an options list. These include more data on specific drugs and discuss of other options. You must have popups enabled to see this data.


Antidepressants cannot be quit cold turkey. If you plan to discontinue use, please check with your doctor who can advise you about the specific drug you are taking.


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