The Relationship between Stroke and Depression

Are you suffering from depression?

Is there a relationship between stroke and depression?

Yes there is, and this is according to a study conducted by Bostons’ Harvard School of Public Health.

According to the study, people with the following conditions are more likely to have a stroke than their peers: those who are suffering from depression; those who are overweight or obese; and those who live an unhealthy lifestyle. This includes people who drink and smoke and who live sedentary lifestyles.

Depression is not as dangerous as hypertension or high blood pressure, but, according to the analysts who studied the results of the research, 31,800 out of the 795,000 (4%) annual stroke sufferers in the United Statescan be attributed to or blamed on depression.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. It can also be caused by a blocked blood vessel. What happens when a blood vessel in the brain is either blocked or has burst is that no oxygen will be able to get into the brain which ultimately causes that part of the brain to die. Moreover, because the brain will not be able to function anymore, the part of the body controlled by the damaged area of the brain will also not work properly.

There are two types of stroke: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.

When a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain, an ischemic stroke happens. The clot may form in the blood vessel, and it may also pass through the blood system. Generally, 20% or 8 out of 10 strokes are ischemic strokes, and this is very common in older people.

Depression is believed to increase the risk of ischemic stroke, in which a blood vessel becomes blocked and cannot send blood to the brain.

In what ways are the two: depression and stroke, related?

It’s really not difficult to see how these two can be related. Come to think of it, isn’t it true that depressed people are more likely to live unhealthily? For example, people who are suffering from depression normally resort to drinking alcoholic beverages. They are also more identified to smoking and at worst, drug addiction. Depressed people also eat unhealthy food since they don’t live normal lives which include preparing and cooking healthy meals. Chances are, depressed people eat food from fast-food outlets or they simply open the can and eat processed food.  They are also less likely to take a bath or regularly brush their teeth; in short, most depressed people are poor in personal hygiene.

Depression also increases the production of stress hormones in the body which can cause inflammation in the blood vessels, something that is very dangerous and at worst, fatal.

In a nutshell, depression may not be the greatest risk factor for stroke, but it can still be a very big factor, so it’s good not to ignore it.


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