Just need some help

Hi everyone, 

I'm so sorry if this is a lengthy post; I really could do with some reassurance or even just someone to say they understand and it's ok. 

Im 32 years old and I had a stroke on 11th Dec 18, so I'm in the early stages of recovery. Part of my brain was damaged because of the delay getting treatment - but recovery wise I can walk, and use my left side again which I'm led to believe is quite quick and very positive for what happened. 

I'm left with a stammer and the doctors said I may struggle with emotion. I'm still having tests to see why it happened. I'm usually very active. I'm off from work still which affects my mood and it's still very uncertain as to what will happen with my role, this is hard to think about. 

I've managed depression a long time ago and found different coping strategies. These helped keep me positive and ordinarily, if I ever feel low..they work to get me out of my mood. 

Recently I've been trying to give reasons to my partner to excuse how low I feel or if I'm quiet. For example blaming my quietness on something that irritated me or finding something to have an issue with so that I can feel in control of fixing it. 

The last few days have been the worst; yesterday I found myself sitting in the bath thinking.. if I had a huge stroke or something happened it would be a relief not having to cope anymore. I have a busy head as it is - so managing my emotions and trying to hide just how low I feel is taking its toll. I feel mentally exhausted, like I've had enough. 

In addition to this my partner and I have a lot of outside stress at the moment (our relationship is incredible and I know I'm lucky for that) but having the stroke makes me feel guilty for adding to our pile of stress. 

I won't do anything silly to end it, I just know that it wasn't right to want relief from this constant weight on my shoulders. 

I called the stroke helpline and they said it might help to get in touch with others so here goes... I've been reading your stories and it would really help to hear some reassuring words. 


Thanks for reading... 



Dear Jessica

Please get the stroke asociation to send you their "Stroke information pack". Then please read it as best you can and get your partner to read through as well.

A stroke bit me 13/12/2015 so I do have an idea how you must be feeling. I was 90% paralysed. And have aphasia (cant process language). Like you, I had a very quick physical recovery, I got up and walked on day four. That was a miracle, no one else walked that soon.

By all means let the medics test as to what caused the stroke and then take appropriate action to reduce the chance of another one. But your overwhelmimg requirement is to recover from this stroke. 

Like you, I had one bout of clinical depression some decades ago. Stroke is very likely to attack you with waves of depression. Keep batting the depression away, it will otherwise delay your recovery. 

Emotionality and speech issues are very common. My emotions slowly recovered and after sixmonths I could function OK, except for funerals or other emotional events. They took longer. The speech slowly came back.

Many of us were active. I think its only us active ones who survive. 

I would not want to survive another stroke if it was a massive one. But you and I have survived, so we are special. We have been chosen to survive.

You are very early days with your recovery. It is a long journey.

Your brain is busy trying to work around the dead and damaged parts of your brain. It needs extra hydration. And it needs rest. 

There is a lot to learn. 

Smile a lot.

Be positive

You are not alone.

best wishes


Hi Jessica,

As I'm sure others will say, it is still really early days for you and your challenge now is to see Life's glass as half-full and filling. You've survived something that still kills millions in the World today and there are many positives in your life - your relationship, you're still physically pretty good and you have a progressive condition - as bland as it might sound, the only way from here is upwards. At 32 years of age you can and you will make a good recovery from this on EVERY front.

Having a head full of thoughts is something even non-Stroke survivors battle with and you may have done this before your Stroke - I know I certainly did. The difference now is that your brain doesn't think in the same way you used to - you may dwell more on the negatives in life or get anxious over things that you never used to. This can be from three different things - a horrible combination: 1. You may have some form of Post Traumatic stress from having had a stroke recently; 2. Your brain's chemistry has changed, so you're more likely to get confused, anxious or depressed; And 3; the brain damage you have suffered means that you just won't think along the same lines as you used to, sub-consciously.

But the good news is that you can tackle all three problems through:

1. Ask your GP about antidepressants. These won't immediately solve everything or sedate you. They'll just balance out your thinking and let you put negative thoughts aside that are stopping you from enjoying the life you nearly lost;

2. Also ask about Counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Just talking about your challenges and how you are thinking can help enormously. If you don't want more appointments, you can do this online through the NHS's moodzone: 


3. As part of your recovery, focus on still getting out and about and spending time with people. This helps your brain to recover as the 'new' you slowly and surely becomes more or less the 'old you that you used to be. If you can, try to exercise more and get into a good sleep cycle. Just those things alone can make a massive difference.

You've made a good first step in reaching out for help, now take the next steps and give yourself the life you deserve. There's a good life after your Stroke waiting for you. You CAN make it a Great one!

Read through what I am saying here and don't, not even for a millisecond, doubt one word of it. In five or even ten years, you'll look back and not recognise how you are thinking or feeling now, I promise you.

Take care now,


Damian thank you so much for your response. 

Everything you said made perfect sense. 

Just after I posted this I went to the gp. 

Unfortunately the couldn't offer me antidepressants as I'm still undergoing tests for the cause. 

I've got some therapy lined up and I've had some more positive days recently .I've been throwing myself into doing things which has helped tremendously. 

I'm really glad you responded... Now I can think clearer your message really hit home. 

I know I'm so lucky and I'm going to hold onto that. 

I may have down days but I'm hoping a different way of thinking will help. 


Thanks so much,



You're very welcome, Jessica,


And thank you for taking the time to say thank you. They are very dark days in the first weeks and months after a Stroke; I know they were for me but, over eight years after my Stroke at the age of 43, They are long forgotten and I can see progress in every year since those darkest days.

Keep being positive and one day it will be you saying "don't worry, it will turn out fine" to someone who has recently had a Stroke. I took a lot of comfort from other survivors early in my Stroke Journey  and they were ALL right. Getting physically and emotionally better, getting back on my feet financially and staying healthy - it all 'just happened' with the right mindset and determination. We are far stronger than many would ever believe possible. No storm ever lasts a lifetime, many say, and they are right.

Onwards and upwards now for you,


Hi Jessica

I am really sorry to hear about your stroke and how it has left you feeling. 

Depression is very common after a stroke, and about a third of stroke survivors will have some form of depression within the first year. I am pleased you have since been to your GP and they have offered you some therapy - I really hope this helps.

To get a greater understanding of stroke, you may also be interested to know about Different Strokes which is a charity run by younger stroke survivors for younger stroke survivors. They provide support and advice, offer one-to-one and group support and run exercise classes to help improve mobility. I have put their details below: 

Different Strokes
Helpline Telephone: 0345 130 7172
Helpline Email: info@differentstrokes.co.uk
Website: http://www.differentstrokes.co.uk/

Please do continue to seek support on here, but also the Helpline - talking to people who have been in the same situation as you, or have a good understanding of stroke will definitely help.

Take care