Depression and Stroke
A person who has depression is 2-3 times more likely to have a stroke. There is also a risk factor for not surviving a stroke. Having depression prior to stroke can be a very high risk factor and a potential deadly one. The prevalence of depression in those with stroke varies between 10% and 45%. The reason there is such a broad range depends on several factors. It depends on the time the person was assessed, the instruments used, the type of facility in which the person was assessed (acute, rehab or outpatient), and the level of the research. The peak incidence of having depression is between six months and two years post-stroke, but as you will find out in a moment, if you are working in acute care, the person may already be demonstrating some of the risk factors that would cause a person to develop a depression later on after their stroke has occurred.
There is much controversy in the literature on whether depression is dependent on the lesion location. This depends on the research and the type of research that is done to assess this. For example, did they use a MRI, CAT scan, PET scan, or other instrument to determine where the stroke occurred in relation to the depression? A person with a stroke may develop major depression or minor depression, which is called dysthymia.