Anxiety Increase

Hello I had my Stroke Feb 21 and made a great recovery, but with the added bonus of Fatigue.
But I have noticed a change in my anxiety levels.
Pre stroke this pandemic would not of been much of a concern, get vaccinated, masks etc no problem and get on with it.
However post stroke Been vaccinated, wear mask when outside, distance from people but very conscious that the Hospitals are full and what happens if I need A&E. then if in hospital chances of Covid go up, When out get very blunt with anyone not wearing a mask, or getting close. Stopped socialising other than walk dog with sister. I am sure my wife thinks I have lost the plot.
Now as cases rising, new Variant, my anxiety rises and my isolation increases . discussed with doctor who just tried to reassure.

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Hi , anxiety, yes , since stroke 2.5 years ago, terrible. Logically I know, should stop , it is almost, as if my brain will search for something to worry about.
COVID , particularly, at present, feel, couldn’t fight my way out of paper bag :grin: . Have told my children & grand kids , grandad doesn’t do hugs any more , feel terrible ! Also feel I am over cautious, avoiding people, hand washing, disinfectant etc. Have been told ridiculous & whole covid thing is grossly over exaggerated ! Like you double jab & booster, this week . Thought it would have settled down , with the TERRIBLE FATIGUE,by now , but no. Good talking David.

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Hello @Al59, things like this certainly do raise the bar of anxiety for vulnerable people like us. I think though, it is important to look after yourself, and make shrewd decisions based on your health, but it is also important not to panic (as Douglas Adams so famously put on the front of a book). With a bit of common sense, we can hopefully avoid coming into contact with the virus. I had my stroke in September 2020, fortunately, I live in a rural area, and was never particularly keen on going out to urban places apart from a weekly visit to my local pub (which I miss terribly). I was so caught up by the stroke, I forgot the rest of the world existed, and was in another kind of lockdown, one that made it undesirable to leave the house as my symptoms prevented me from doing that. Now that I am a bit more capable, I am becoming aware of this whole scenario going on, and I think that a few years of lifestyle change may help with bypassing it, until things settle down a bit more. During the intense period of Covid, I went to A&E quite a few times, my hospital was like a ghost town because people weren’t going there. It was probably the safest public place I could be. :joy: However, every area is different, and every hospital has different social demands, but I would imagine that the strict hygiene control would make a hospital visit quite safe, so I wouldn’t not go if needed. Probably much safer than a supermarket. Human beings are social creatures, so the restrictions have proved a challenge to the greater populace, but there are other ways to socialise, and these troubles will pass in time. I’m glad you have a dog, pets make excellent company. You are doing all the right things with vaccination, masks, disinfectant et cetera. My personality is risk aversive, so I tend to opt out of situations that may cause me trouble. Don’t let other people’s carelessness cause you friction, as long as you are taking care of yourself, you are being kind to yourself and to others. I know of a stroke survivor who recently had Covid, he had his stroke at the same time as me, he’s also of a venerable age, and he has recovered well. I hope you can keep anxiety at bay, and not let it lead you astray.

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Anxiety after stroke is normal. The first night I came home I was filled with dread, believing I would die that night. Anxiety eases after time. Being now 78, I am more sanguine. Given my age I could go at any time so I take each days at it comes and what it has to offer. Stay strong.

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Anxiety is a pretty common experience post-stroke for so many of us, Al. The ‘night terrors’ in the early days, a fairly widespread feeling, is quite unsettling, wondering if we’ll wake up the next morning. Being alone also heightens anxiety levels in case something goes wrong. Then, of course, every little ‘niggle’, which would normally pass unnoticed, takes on a whole new significance in our minds. These things gradually pass over time as our confidence grows again, thankfully. Personally, I find relying on my Christian faith the most wonderful support.

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Hello David thank you for responding. I also find that the fatigue is difficult to explain to others as they seem to respond with push through it. Telling them I am not running a marathon or fitness goal and that the fatigue just drains all energy and unless you rest it just doesn’t go away. Lucky to have a great understanding wife and retired now so no work pressure.
again thanks for replying

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Hi @Al59 - I had my stroke just over three years ago and while the fatigue and immediate fear of dying are much reduced, I do still have some anxiety.
It is hard to explain to others and I don’t even understand it myself; when I worked I was renowned amongst colleagues for my calmness and patience. Being anxious is alien to me and for me is one of the most debilitating aspects of having the stroke.
I’ve been looking into alternative therapies and trying to practice mindfulness. This does seem to be helping and you might want to do a bit of research into it.
Good luck!

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Thank you. One thing that I have learned is that those who have a stroke understand the fatigue and anxiety issues. Interestingly, for me, I know a benefit assessor and described what change occurred after stroke with fatigue, anxiety (the hidden symptoms) etc and they really don’t get it. they think it’s nothing.

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I used to work for DWP (not on the benefit side) and was asked to give a presentation to a group of decision makers to explain the hidden effects of having a stroke. Feeling that this would be useful I agreed and it was scheduled for the end of March 2020. Obviously it didn’t happen!

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that’s a shame could only of helped.

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I agree @JSCAPM, the anxiety aspect of the aftermath of stroke is both alien and debilitating to be too, I hope the mindfulness continues to help

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Thanks @Mahoney. I’ll keep trying - as we all do!

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Hi Stewart most of us have been there. Contacted Doctor month after Stroke thinking I’d had another stroke, no he said it’s anxiety & depression. A year on still sometimes pays me a visit but managing (just) to keep off medication. Mindfulness in some form I feel is of use. My distraction is a session of sawing logs but I appreciate we can’t all do that. Like Rups I live out in the sticks which has certain advantages. Stay safe .Pds

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For about twenty-years or so, I have been badgered by panic attacks, whenever I would feel one coming on, I would disappear into the woodshed and saw, split, and stack. There is something cathartic about it, even now, to settle my mind, I sometimes think about what I need to do in the woodshed before I get the next bag of logs in. Mindfulness has its merits, it’s something to take the principles from and adapt to one’s own life.

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As I didn’t want to take anti-depressants, Dr says try mindfulness. Girl they sent out to see me couldn’t explain it & said I’ll put something in post which she did, two irrelevant pamphlets. Came to see me again clutching clipboard“ What do you thinks making you depressed& anxious Again asked her to explain “I’ll put something in post. She downloads a heap of stuff , which I could not process. Woman in village comes to see me & teaches me how to relax & tells me to imagine myself in a good place where I was happy. I still need to do a lot of research… Any advice would be .great fully received .Texting this from woodshed, where my mate the short-tailed vole is running around awaiting my discarded apple core (an Oleans Reinette)today. A russet type French variety grown a lot in these parts. Looks like a Blenheim Orange. Hope your feeling better, Was never an anxious person or depressive before Stroke but now both get me at times . I’m 73, I can’t imagine how your coping with a young family. I have two grown up sons. When I was your age they were like badly behaved bear cubs. Back to books, we had serious smoke damage due to a log igniting log basket A tough decision had to be made , what books to try to clean & box the rest discarded. Use to have nightmares about books lost but now come to terms with it.

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Same. I am around 2.5 years since a stroke. I have basically isolated myself which is sad as I use to be very sociable! The fatigue. Jeez, I hope it does get better. I think I have it managed well and then bang! I have a few rough days. It is difficult. I want to do things, I need to do things but the fatigue is such a barrier.
I try mindfulness to help with the anxiety. Sometimes it works. It isn’t for everyone but it might help a bit.
It is always reassuring to share stories as it makes me realise, I am not alone.
Thank you for sharing.

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Hi , Yes 2.5 years similar . Perhaps slightly different to you, FATIGUE, NEVER , leaves me ! Always been the same , MUST return to bed , late morning, would really struggle rest of the day , otherwise. Ideally 10 hours sleep, a day :joy: . Rather isolated myself, anxiety & poss ridiculously , over Thinking covid .
Early retirement, is a relief ! I now find it slightly amusing, watching people on the hamster wheel, endlessly working to pay for latest car or fancy holidays etc , believing this is for happiness. Lived previously for 5 years, top of hill, surrounded by farmers & gorgeous countryside, in north Devon, very little money, around, no one even noticed how old your car was . Think this slightly prepared me for how I now am . SO appreciate , 2.5 years & alive, but yes at times negative thoughts. Just eaten first slice, of Xmas Stolen, will have to pace myself, with rest. Good talking David.

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Yes fatguie is hard my stroke is about 7 moths old and just got COVID so Christmas lockdown. I am 62 married with a grown up daughter. Waiting to see which group I will be out in on ESA. Hope to do five hours a week as a care worker been one for 22 years but will now only be able to do social virsts HAPPY Christmas to all des

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Dear Colleague,
I had my stroke in September 2006 and am hemiplegic. I don’t know if it is relevant but I have had pregabalin on prescription, I think for residual pain. I know no medicine but believe the medication assists with anxiety. It may be the pregabalin or it may be the excellent care of my wife but I have no more than my ordinary caution.
Yours aye,
Geoffrey

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