According to the American Stroke Association, 1/3-2/3 of stroke survivors are affected by depression. Depression may manifest as sadness, decreased energy, or lack of pleasure in activities you used to enjoy.

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, it is important that you discuss your options with your doctor. They may assess your symptoms through a psychiatric evaluation, a physical exam, or lab tests to determine the best course of action. Common treatments include medications and psychotherapy.

Occupational therapists play a distinct role in management of mental health conditions and symptoms. Some ways OTs address mental health include:

  • Relaxation exercises like deep breathing or muscle relaxation
  • Self-regulation exercises like chair yoga or mindfulness activities
  • We can discuss the importance of healthy daily routines
  • Ways to reduce or prevent stress and stress management skills
  • Coping skills to manage social and emotional well-being

Stress is often a leading factor in the development of depressive symptoms. To learn more about relaxation and coping skills, visit our stress management page here. You can also register for our virtual stress management and relaxation group here.

Another important factor in managing mental health is surrounding yourself with people who support you and your experiences. It may help to discuss your thoughts and feelings with other individuals who have had similar experiences. To find out more, visit our socialization and support page here.

                              Geriatric Depression Scale

If you are experiencing feelings of depression that last longer than two weeks, click on the Geriatric Depression Scale link. A score of greater than 5 suggests depression. 

Page last updated: 1/2021