Common Mood Symptoms Experienced By Stroke Survivors

Many stroke survivors will develop mood disorders, like depression and anxiety, in the aftermath of the stroke. When left untreated, these mood disorders can sidetrack your stroke rehabilitation. Fortunately, though, there are effective interventions that can address your mood symptoms.

Mood Symptoms In Stroke Survivors

Stroke survivors may experience depression and/or anxiety following their stroke. While these two mood disorders can be intertwined, they present with different symptoms.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which details symptoms of all mental health issues, depression is marked by:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness
  • Loneliness, isolation
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in physiological functions, such as sleep or appetite


Anxiety, on the other hand, manifests is significant and persistent worry. Symptoms of anxiety listed in the DSM include:

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense.
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom.
  • Having an increased heart rate.
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating.
  • Trembling.
  • Feeling weak or tired.
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry.

Some people with severe mood symptoms, typically associated with depression, may also experience suicidal thoughts. If this happens to you, reach out to mental crisis services, go to your nearest ER or call 911 for assistance.

Pseudobulbar Affect is a neurological effect of brain insults, like strokes, in which a person experiences personality and mood changes of a biological nature. Typically, this looks like inappropriate or disproportionate crying or laughter.