Anxiety and nerves

Had my stroke in January 2020. Stroke affected my eyesight my right eye on my peripheral vision and obviously left me with some brain damage other than that I have been very lucky. It's been a long few months recovering and coming to terms with everything. Medication was the worst I was allergic to clopidogrel and statins. Could not take Omprozole and blood pressure pills because they wiped out my sodium. I am now now recovering well but I have started to develop a problem with anxiety and my nerves. The doctor has talked me through breathing exercises but some nights it always seems to happen at night I get really scared nervous and I'm finding it hard to sleep now. I read that the effect on your brain following the stroke could cause this problem of nerves and anxiety has anyone any experience of this and any advice would be much appreciated thanks Linda

Hi Linda, have you tried listening to sleep stories on you tube. They really helped me when I was having trouble getting to sleep. You can get 'Calm'  sleep stories free on you tube, I don't know how they work but they certainly helped me. They'll be worth a try anyhow. I also take metazapine at night for anxiety as a side effect of the stroke. Not everyone likes taking tablets for anxiety and I was one of them but they have helped me. I think it's important to get a good nights sleep if you can, even though I'm retired now I still need a good 7 1/2 hrs. I feel really clumsy and a bit woolly headed if I don't sleep well.

Hope the sleep stories help.


Hi Linda, I am nearly five years post stroke, but experienced the same in the first months I came home. In fact, I told my partner before going to bed the first night that I would die that night. I was so insistent  that he got quite scared. I didn't die, of course.

Another hidden anxiety made me wake up almost every hour the first few nights, presumably to check that I was still alive. This eased over time.

If you think about it logically, why should one die at night? People die every hour of the day and night. Night fears are really subconscious anxiety.

I find daytime activity, exercise classes and Tai Chi good for relaxing the mind and body, but I do have a regular nighttime regime. After I get into bed, I play Classic FM for a few minutes before switching the radio and the light off. I then still for a few minutes and think about those I know who are ill or have particular problems. I then sleep. Occasionally I might take a Nytol herbal to assist sleep. If I wake in the night I usually don't look at the clock as clock watching can make one more anxious about not having enough sleep.

Hope this helps.

Hello Linda.  Sorry to hear of your stroke issues. 9 months is still fairly early days in terms of recovery but one hurdle you have overcome is the medication problems which is good.  I also was allergic to statins and couldn't tolerate Clopidogrel so had to stop both after ending up in A & E quite a few times in the early months.   I think if you can get the medication sorted then you can sort out which ailments are stroke related and which are tablet related.  

Nightimes are quite scary in the first year and can be beyond that. There was always that fear in my mind that I would have another one. I got quite obsessive about checking BP and doing the 'Stroke' assessment things like putting your finger on the tip of your nose with your eyes closed and sticking tongue out etc.  As time went by, I am now 3 years post stroke, that fear disappeared. I found out what my limitations were and although I push myself daily, I know when to stop.  I also rest when my brain tells me and you'll know when that is by now I'm sure!

Strokes do affect your mental health and the entire nervous system. There are a couple of things that helped me in the early days although I sleep well now.  One was lavender oil and the other is a spray for your pillow called "This Works Sleep Spray"  A couple of drops of lavender oil on your pillow at night helps to calm and aids sleep. I discovered "This Works" when I got a free sample at a hotel I stayed in at Manchester Airport.   It's lovely but quite expensive but it does work.  In with the samples, I also got a roll on wrist lotion which you can wear through the day which is also calming.  

Things do improve over time but recovery is slow unfortunately. I found that if I look back and think what I was like 6 months ago and how I felt then that gives me strength to see how much further I've got down the recovery road. You don't always notice it day by day so stick with it and hope that helps. Brenda


Dear Linda

Anxiety is a very common effect after stroke. Your brain dosnt like having a stroke, so it will tell you to run away. Well we dont run away in society any more, we get stress/anxiety instead.

Nightmares are common. Even night terrors and, in my case hallucinations. 

I soon realized that having enough sleep is essential. For me its exactly 7.5 hours that I need.

The stroke got me at night so I was very alarmed about sleeping.

First thing, I slept with the light on. For about six months. Next thing I purchased a tinnitus relaxer. This is a little machine that plays your choice of soothing noise laid over white sound, or is it grey noise. Whatever. It then switches off after 40 minutes. This helped loads. I rarely noticed the 40 minutes had passed. A also swapped mattress, swapped bed even swapped room. Tried five pillows, three pillows and so on.

I use relaxation tapes. Went to group relaxation classes and also had seated yoga. All are a help. 

Sleep is essential.

Brilliant that you are sorting the medications. I still havent really fathomed what helps and what harms. I do know that Clopidogrel does not harm me at all.

I do feel for you as the key part of recovery is during corona. But you will recover and we just have to cope with corona, for the time being.

Can I be cheeky: You say you had your stroke. But you didnt chose a stroke, didnt want a stroke and did nothing to encourage it. So can I suggest you stop saying its my stroke. 

Please smile a lot. False forced or faked will do.

Please be positive

You are not alone


ps A lot of us are writing on Sunday, unusual. I guess its the endless rain.



Hi Ann thank you for your reply it is much appreciated I will certainly try the night stories I really do need something to letting me down my problem is the star that around dinner time when the nights stretching out ahead of me and my stomach starts churning and I get butterflies and sometimes I think I cannot going to be able to breathe properly and I just want to get up and walk out crazy animal but I certainly have spoken to the doctor and she told me just to practice my breathing exercises so I certainly call her first thing in the morning and an explain the position and see if there's something anything she can give me just to help me over the next couple of weeks until I can try and get some stability back in my life meantime thank you thank you so much

I was a mess when I came out of hospital I was only in 3 days and you nothing about strokes what causes them and you nothing about anything list that the way it would make me feel I was just told you've had a stroke and 3 days later I was back home and on the downward plunge I was a total mess and I thought it was down to the stroke ACL everyday I'm going to die I've got a headache I've got a twinge I've got a pain there it was awful nobody probably due to the virus told me what was wrong with me the side effects the way it would make me feel I had absolutely no inkling of what that happened to me and indeed what was happening I did literally think I was dying day in and day out and most days I just wanted to die I thought I can't face this I cannot please feeling like this but 7 months on I'm still here. the last few weeks have been great and I really thought I was turning a corner then I got up 5 days ago and I just could not function I was nervous energy irritable and just so anxious and scared and nobody apart from this wonderful site has any information to help me understand what's happening and what I can do do. Your words and advice will give me some deeper inside and confidence keep moving forward and finding a way to cope with this stress and anxiety. Thank you so much

Thank you for getting back to me it was most informative and helpful give me a better insight and more confidence to keep moving forward. the medicines were a nightmare unfortunately I have never suffered any illness before no had I been to a doctor for years I woke up with a migraine and after 2 weeks of having a migraine and been told I had high blood pressure either then went to a local a&e and after a lot of tests they admitted me to hospital and said I've had a stroke so obviously like everyone else my world turned upside down but I didn't know what a stroke was what are the long-term effects I simply was totally ignorant. I ended up back in hospital 4 months later and it was discovered I was allergic to a lot of the tablets I ended up on unconscious due to the fact I have no salt left in my system because it wiped out the sodium. I thought I was making good progress until 4 days ago when I woke up feeling stress and anxious and scared about everything again just as I did when I first had the stroke. I have read your story with great interest and your advice and insight will certainly give me some help to move forward over the next period I can cope during the daytime it's when it gets to evenings that the effects and the fear starts to take over and last night I just could not get any sleep at all he's hoping when I call the doctor tomorrow she will be able to help me with something just to tide me over this bad time

First off my diagnosis hope it is readable which is why I tend not to put it out the one any complications and the diagnosis says stroke (CVA) infarction. I had a migraine which lasted a couple of days and I noticed something wasn't proper in my right eye after 2-weeks I managed to get the a&e doctor doctor's to look at it and after tests they said I had had that stroke. I was discharged from hospital after 3 days at the end of January. I was in a bad way with allergies to medicine and ended up back in hospital under a different healthcare unit they took me off a lot of the tablets I was on. This health unit give me a diagnosis of acute ischaemia of left occipito_parietal love. I fight hard to keep smiling it's all just been a struggle down to the virus and where to go to get the best information and I have to say without doubt it's on this website you've all kept me sane

Dear Linda

Your diagnosis includes ischemic and infarct, which tells many of us the type etc. and so we wont talk about the issues that other SS have by way of bleed or transient.

The smiling thing really works. I sit and smile when I would really like to scream. The smile works. It gets your brain into the mode of everything is OK, so it can concentrate on the rewring process. 

You have done really well to get your medication amended. Massive plus point.

Now you need sleep.

You may also need daytime naps, when your brain wants to rest and rewire. I call them stroke naps and they are just beautiful. Generally it is best not to fight the tiredness etc, but to just relax. And sleep or nap.

The corona thing is a big deal but if you can you should float above all the virus stuff. You need rest to get over the worst of your stroke issues and thats consistent with the need to stay home to dodge the virus. If you just keep all muscles ticking over for the time being then you can pick up on exercising at  a later stage. 

I promise you that things will improve. They will improve so slowly that you wont notice. But if you look back you will see the improvement. I keep a stroke diary. Just a few daily notes about what I am able to do and how many naps and how much sleep. This diary can be useful if you need medical appointments. But best of all you can look back and say how much things have improved. I try to ignore what went on just before and during the stroking. Thats all happened so I dont need to revisit those bad days. I marvek that I can walk, even more that I can drive and so on. Cook. Make bed. Vacum the carpets. Weed the garden. All in moderation, but its a thrill to find I can do those things. 

Best wishes


Hi Linda,

After ten years since my stroke, I'm less anxious now than I was before it, although it peaked six to eighteen months after the stroke. I owe this to three things:

1. Good therapy - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps you to straighten out your own thinking and keep your mind on what is important and relevant. The NHS Moodzone provides this online for free:

2. Medication - I was put on antidepressants for the first time in my life. They don't work instantly and aren't a wonder cure but they definitely help.

3. Exercise - I went to the gym regularly, set a goal of a half marathon (which I did last year) and from there saw my recovery progress and my mood really lifted. I slept better too.

I won't pretend it was all plain sailing - if I get ill or overly tired, anxiety creeps back in.


It is hard if it affects your sleeping because lack of sleep makes you more anxious, which makes you sleep less and so on. Exercise is the biggest single thing you can do to break that vicious circle.

You can and will get through this.




Hi Damien thanks for your reply, it will help and hopefully I will regain some of the positivity I need in my day-to-day life. I miss not been able to work socialise with people and having to live under the restrictions because of the virus. I miss my family the most not being able to drive across the country to visit doesn't help but we are all in that situation. The breathing exercises help immensely, I'm fortunate but I live in North Yorkshire on the coast so I have started to take long walks along the beach. My main problem has been ignorance not knowing anything about strokes in the past and how it affects ones life and how how you can work your way through through it and come to terms with the restrictions it is placed on you. These pages and the time I'm you all take answer people's comments and queries is a lifesaver and brings me through moments that I don't understand and puts things into perspective and give us something to focus on. Thank you

Hi Linda again.  I am in West Yorkshire and was in Filey week before last for the day - gorgeous! Used to go to Primrose Valley every year as children so it has a special place in my heart heart   

I also knew nothing about strokes when I had mine. There were no strokes in our family or anyone we knew. I was a fit, healthy 65 yr old. One thing I have since learnt which needs much advertising is that strokes happen to old and young, fit people and not just Grandma or Grandad as most people expect.  

It's a small world, I live in Scarborough and my son's were born and brought up in a village called hunmanby. I have a sister who lives nearby my youngest son lives in Whitby and the older one lives in Cheadle. I never suffered ideas illness never even had measles of chickenpox I simply walk up one morning with a migraine, after a few days I contacted the doctor because it was not letting up and the aura. They dismissed it give me blood pressure pills and said to come back in a couple of weeks. After two weeks I went to a&e and ask for advice, they said I had a tumour or a stroke and admitted me to York where I was diagnosed with the stroke. I have been so lucky although not been able to drive and lost of my peripheral vision down the right side is hard to come to terms with. I shocked me to understand how many people of all ages were having strokes I felt so ignorant but I will be eternally grateful for the help I have received and people who have had a stroke and the people what are it the helplines. 

Oh, I know Hunmanby - always pass through when on the East Coast. We also love to go to Muston scarecrow festival but since my stroke, I cannot for the life of me remember when it is now!  

I am getting more and more despondent with hearing about GP's and hospitals messing up (I'm being polite there! Would swear if I was allowed!). All they care about is Covid and it's getting beyond a joke now.  Good job you went to A & E and got sorted.

Hi Colin 

Nice to catch up today and I will and have made tense to keep smiling. Although it is only been a few months since my stroke in January I have made progress in lots of ways and will be eternally grateful for that. I just have to come to terms with the loss of my vision and loss of confidence get the smile back on my face and stopped feeling worried and concerned incase I have another stroke I can't change what is happening I just have to make the best of things and stop feeling sorry for myself. I am I am lucky to have all the people I talked to online on this site for the help and consideration

Lovely that you are highlighting what you can do rather than what you can not.

We are far less likely to have another stroke, we are exercising, resting, eating better, and taking preventative medicines. 

your confidence will return. I do not have any knowledge regarding sight. I do know that many stroke symptoms do clear.

my speech was bad and it cleared within a few months. Emotionality was bad, especially hard for us males to handle, but now i can cope with nearly everything, apart from funerals. I could list lots of other malfunctions that have cleared.

You have good attitudes Linda, it will help you along the thevslow pathway of recovery



Hi Linda,

Ive not had a stroke but met over 1500 people who have - they are my teachers. The advice and strategies below are spot on and i smiled reading each one of them. They are very similar to what ive heard over the years from my teachers.

Find what works for you. In essence as long as its not harmful, too expensive and aids you then give it a try and when you find a solution sing about it because there will always be others with the same issues as you raised, albeit in varying drgrees.

Thank you for posting, may it benefit you and many others.


Hello Linda,

I agree with CBT, meditation and mindfulness as ways to cope with anxiety and nervousness. From my own personal experience, alongside these things, I have my own set of comfort strategies for sleeping and night time routines. Everyone is different, but I make sure I have a regular, comforting night time routine. This is something I look forward to and it takes my mind off my health issues. I also like a hotwater bottle and have a favourite pillow. Somehow, the physicality of these "props" distracts from the mental stimuli that gets louder when the sun goes down. It won't work for everyone, but as soon as I focus on tactile things, my brain seems to forget about the anguishing thoughts I don't want.

Hope this helps.

Hi I had mine be 3 years ago but n Spain I spent a month In hos and had 3 aneurysms and a stroke I was on the table when I had the stroke best place to happen I’m struggling a bit with depression and anxiety it was my right sid3 but I’m lucky a can still walk and talk my spearheaded is a wee bit wonky Iv started swimming to strenghthen  my muscles  and Iv also got polyneuropathy and fibromyalgia. I had these before the stroke Iv also now got COPD I hate that but swimming should help my lungs We had just moved before this all kicked off and family are nearer which is @ help