Psychosocial implications of stroke

Psychological effects of stroke are often not considered when discussing rehabilitation. The process of coming to terms with a new disability creates an enormous psychological strain due to feelings of fear, lifestyle and socialization changes, and loss of body control. These feelings often manifest into depression with a rate of 3-79%. If you are experiencing decreased motivation to relearn skills because, "I can't do it anyway," you may be experiencing depression. Depression can arise from a multitude of factors including shock, feeling of loss, disability, losing responsibility of self-welfare, inability to do activities you previously did, grieving your previous life and dreading the future.

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Mechanisms for altered living


  • Appraisal-focused: Denial or distance from the issue and use of humor to cope

  • Problem-focused: Dealing with the root of the problem by obtaining knowledge on how to manage the issue

  • Emotion-focused: Distraction, confiding in others, anger management, relaxation techniques 

Everyone is different!


If you a reach plateau period in your recovery,  or a period of unnoticeable progress, hope is what you have to look toward the future and find the drive to pursue your goals. Hope comes from self-empowerment and autonomy to take to make your own life decisions.

Quality of Life

Coping mechanisms and hope provide a basis for improving quality of life and eventual altered living. In order to attain a state of altered living, one must find a balance of things they can do and things they may not be able to do and adjust expectations accordingly while still enjoying life. Familiar environments foster increased quality of life due to a sense of independence and control over one’s environment. 

Positive consequences of stroke