How minor stressors can floor you post stroke

It’s surprising how a little bit of stress can lead to a whole lot of fatigue when it manages to catch you out.

My car died right at a junction at the end of my road yesterday. I was on my way out, taking my daughter to the dentist. Trouble is, it has a bit of a blind bend and the road itself is a bit bendy. I did manage to roll back from the junction but ended up with my front end sticking out a bit as a result of the bends. One of the pitfalls of power steering is its hard to steer without the power…so much for all my weight training :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

Anyway, I sent my daughter back to fetch my hubby and as we were trying to straighten the car out to push it home, along came a road recovery truck with a car on the back. And those wonderful guys helped get the car back down the road and onto the drive :blush:

But those few minutes of minor stress really, just wasted me for the rest of the day :flushed: I just about managed dinner, but I had no inclination or much energy to anything else. And I just wanted to sleep! I felt I could very well have slept the rest of the day if I’d let myself. I did take a nap but couldn’t sleep anyway. But that’s how I felt for the remainder of the day.

I was trying to reply to @SimonInEdinburgh in a chat, and I’ll be honest with you Simon, I just couldn’t raise the interest, I just wanted to switch off. Sorry about that, but I’m back to normal today.

That’s what fatigue does to you! A little bit of minor stress can bring on fatigue and floor you for the rest of the day. The stress can be anything that’s just out of the ordinary. Before my stroke, the car breaking down and being so close to home anyway, wouldn’t have fazed me. But now it does so love to surprise me and catch me on the hop :roll_eyes:

It does show how relatively calm I try to keep my life, quiet even, boring maybe :face_with_diagonal_mouth: I know what a little bit of stress can do to me, unfortunately not all the stressors in life can be avoided :frowning_face:

Take care everyone and watch your stress levels :people_hugging:


EmeraldEyes. That’s just the post I needed!! Have been sitting here worrying about why I was feeling sooo tired having done very little this morning except join friends for coffee. Having read your post I realised the problem. To get to the cafe I have to walk - with husband - down a quite uneven passageway. As I’m still working on my walking this passageway stresses me out every time I use it! I worry about it before I even get there, worry while I’m chatting and drinking coffee and worry about walking back down it! Question answered as to why I’m so tired - STRESS! Thanks!


Oh gosh YES, that will sooo cause you stress and then the oncoming fatigue. It’s seems like such a normal activity, you wouldn’t think twice about before your stroke. But now your brain is having to think and consider so many things and plan ahead for eventualities, and it’s having to concentrate on the actual mechanics of walking, balance issues, etc etc etc. It’s no wonder you are so stressed and fatigued by the end of it all.

So take the rest of the day off without the need to feel guilty or worried about it. Tomorrow’s another day and forewarned is forarmed :wink:


@EmeraldEyes Oh my Gosh what an ordeal and pain in Butt! I guess stress hits us in varied ways. I’m lucky that I never have fatigue. My stress, whether from hard times, anger, or sadness, and worry comes in the form of hyper-tone. Last night while cooking, The weather report came on TV and was about 4 to 8 inches of snow next day. I so wanted to have a lovely walk with my wife. Boom, I got hit with spasticity across my back. I said to my body…“REALLY” ? Come on Now" ridiculous.

Have you tried a good strong cup of tea or coffee to help with fatigue? Caffiene sure gives me a jolt of energy.
Good luck with your car…so sorry.


That’s probably why on the whole I’m a relatively calm, even tempered sort of person…I drink tea by the gallon :rofl:

And then of course today, mentioning it to my daughter, she pins exactly which part of my stroke was affected. And that sets us off on an analytical tour of the stroke side of my brain and so on :laughing:

Oh and as it turns out, the car needs a new battery :roll_eyes:

1 Like

@EmeraldEyes i too find the smallest stressor brings on fatigue and also emotional lability. I often find myself sat weeping over things that should never have that affect on me.

If i’d have been in your car situation it would have totally floored me so well done on getting through it even if it resulted in fatigue.

Hopefully the new battery will stop it happening again…if only we could just change our battery and the fatigue disappear :grin::grin:

1 Like

Yes minor stress creeps up on me and if I am unaware , it send me spiralling. Wonder what’s happened. Start to think negative thoughts. Then a day or two later the penny drops after the dreaded fatigue. And I’m a happy bunny again. I know when I push the boat out it’s risky and expect fatigue, but didn’t accept for a while that silly minor hiccups also can lay me low.

1 Like

I can empathise, I have found I really have to try and manage emotional stress since my stroke, especially as my general anxiety levels have gone through the roof. I can feel my whole body ‘shaking’, exacerbates my headaches and like you, can completely knacker me out. I have found myself getting worked up by things much more easily - my best advice is try not to worry about worrying ( not doing a very good job of that myself at times! ). If you’re tired - physically or mentally just take a break or have a lie-down and try not to feel bad about doing that. It’s like long distance running - seems impossible to start with, you just need to start slowly and take your time and accept that there will be some steps back as well as forward.


Hi i had my stroke November '22 and tbh the 1st year i was so tired everyone said oh your recovering but i knew itbwas something else. Now i get anxious at the drop of a hat and then the fatique just hits me like a massive wave, anxiety and stress just ramp up the fatigue so much now

1 Like

To all the above

You can imagine what months of continual stress caused by events here. Even writing this has taken me 3 days a lot of stress. Of course (most of?) us strokies understand sensitivity to stressors and so can relate to what isn’t axiomatic to people who haven’t had a stroke. They have NO idea

Friends family colleagues administrators the public even medical staff etal see the not-working-leg or arm but they don’t see the differently working mental processes. The damage they can do by their lack of appreciation and unguarded actions or comments.

Lorraine a swap of confused messages was entirely fine :slight_smile: I assume that was the conversation where we were both confused by the non-sequiturs we were reading and writing!!
I really really didn’t have any problem beyond being confused and that didn’t stress me or worry me at all - although I was concerned that you didn’t interpret any of my responses as cross or impatient :slight_smile:

We were discussing the request emailed out by the Involvement Network last week to participate
in discussions "about our website” next week. (Which I get the impression they think of as one big lump of the web pages including the forum.

In that regard I’m concerned that they aren’t making the request visible to the right audience.


Well I haven’t seen the request at all, part from what you’ve told me, but that might be because I don’t venture much onto the website much :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

1 Like

How would you explain “we will consult” & nothing in the forum?

1 Like

So true. Stress seems to bring out the worst of all my residual effects from my stroke. Then it leads to poor sleep & a vicious cycle begins. Ugh! The days get better and we are here for you!


Hi Emerald Eyes. You did really well to cope. Well done. Amazing what can knock you off kilter.

All the best.

Onwards and upwards.



Hello everyone, thank you so much for sharing your experiences about having to deal with minor stressors post stroke. I’m so glad to hear that I’m not alone.

I’ve had to deal with a lot of stressful events post stroke, which increased my anxiety levels and had me even more depressed to the point where I had suicidal thoughts.

I can deal with minor every day stressors but major ones overwhelm me. A few days before Christmas Day three months after my stroke I had a massive argument with my family who refused to understand that I wasn’t ready to eat at a restaurant, as I had problems swallowing food (dysphagia). The family decided to punish me using silent treatment and I spent Christmas day alone.

When I came to Scotland, dealing with the Home Office was so stressful as they refused to accept my application for a spousal visa, which would allow me to stay here so that my partner would look after me. I was facing deportation and was so stressed as my family had abandoned me. Luckily my partner and I were able to appeal the Home Offices decision at an Immigration Tribunal.

In June 2023 I had to make a decision to shut down my legal practice back in my country, as the associates were not able to bring in new business following my stroke. The income from the practice allowed me to get private physiotheraphy and counselling here in Scotland. A month later my bank back home blocked my bank card and failed to inform me of the reason. So I had to rely on my partner for personal expenses, which was extremely hard for an independent person like me.

The Christmas holidays last year were a total nightmare and there were a number of events that happened with my partner’s family. The issues were stressing him out, which in turn was affecting my anxiety levels. To make matters worse I had covid and was struggling with the symptoms which had a detrimental effect on my stroke deficits. All I wanted was a peaceful and calm environment and at one point things got so bad that I started shaking and crying a lot. I isolated myself in our bedroom refusing to come out or read any food. I’m already very thin and weigh 43 kgs but my intention was to starve myself and end my life.

Luckily things got better when my partner’s friend intervened and told my partner that the issues with his family were stressing me out. One of the reasons why I was so upset was because my partner’s blood pressure skyrocketed due to family issues and I was worried about him having either a heart attack or a stroke, since he already have the risk factors (overweight, drinks, vapes, doesn’t exercise).

Since the events that happened over the holidays I’ve decided to distance myself from my partner’s family. I’ve also joined a singing group at a local community centre and also signed up for art for anxiety sessions. My goal this year is to create a calm and nurturing environment around me.


Joy @joy.alliy
So sorry to read about the new trials you’ve had :frowning:

It sounds like you’ve resolved to focus on what you’re comfortable with, which must be a sensible (vital?) thing at least until emotional resilience increases

Don’t forget that Tom’s face to face group in Gilmerton meets last Tuesday of the month 11 till 1 in the community centre EH17 8QG
Tom is very into his post stroke painting - he held an exhibition last year - it’s not ‘photorealitsic’ :slight_smile: - it is his release. In fact I think it’s his pressure valve. I’m pretty sure you’ve got his email but you can ‘Just turn up’ too.

It a small group - I go most months - mostly we just talk, last month there was an ‘impossible’ dice game & mince pies. I would describe it as nurturing in a very low key way.


1 Like

Thank you Simon I’m already part of a young stroke survivor group that was set up a few months ago. We meet on the first Tuesday of every month.

I’ve also been advised by my neuropsychologist to get in touch with Ashley Ainslie Hospital to better help for the emotional side of my recovery.

I saw something mentioning going in SSRI for anxiety. I was on them for three years but came off them in April 2023. I will talk to my GP about going back on them as they were extremely helpful in managing my anxiety.


Is the group via Jolene?
Glad you’ve found some support.
Asterly & Longstone are the stroke units. I saw a neuro person (jo gourlick) at Asterly

Antidepressants have a mixed reputation, I don’t know if SSRIs are the ones that gave rise to the reputation - hope they (or alternatives) help. If you use the magnifying glass to search a few posts mention them


1 Like

Yes the group was set up by Jolene and a young stroke survivor.

Regarding SSRI I have no problems being on them. I was on one type about 20 years ago when I was then I was working for a big law firm and was extremely stressed.

I went on anxiety and antidepressant medicine after the stroke as I developed post traumatic stress disorder.

My partner and I have done a lot of research on some of the alternatives to SSRI, which have recently gained a lot of traction in the mental health sector.

I am willing to explore other options later on in future but at the moment, having spoken to my neuropsychologist about my current lack of ability to manage my emotions, I will continue being on SSRI.


@joy.alliy my word that is a lot of large stressors to be dealing with in one go. It must have been so difficult for you & I am sad to read of how low you got.

It is good to read that you are making positive steps to fet yourself back on an even keel.

Good luck with everything.

Best wishes


1 Like