Men get depressed more after a stroke

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Previously, it was believed that cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) were an almost exclusive problem for men. Today it is known that this is not the case and that women can also suffer. But, after the stroke has passed, both sexes do not react the same. A recent study indicates that, after an episode of this type, men tend to become more depressed.

Due to gender, culture or custom, in general, it is women who are most concerned about health and care, not only of their own bodies but also of the family and the home in general. Men, on the other hand, believe that they must always be strong and that they will preserve their health forever.

This is one of the ideas that may cause them more depression after suffering a stroke (CVA), also known as stroke or stroke. This has been detected by a small study that appears in the September 12 issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Remember that there are two types of cerebral vascular accidents:

The most common is the so-called ischemic stroke, caused by a blood clot that blocks a blood vessel (artery) in the brain. Of this there are two types, the thrombotic stroke where the clot forms in that place in the artery, and the embolic stroke, where the clot forms in another place and travels through the blood to that artery to block it).
The other is called hemorrhagic stroke and is caused by the rupture of a blood vessel that bleeds into the brain.
On the other hand, “mini-strokes” or transient ischemic attacks (known as TIAs) occur when blood circulation to the brain is interrupted briefly.

In all cases you need to receive immediate attention, because the brain does not tolerate long time without receiving blood and oxygen. When the flow of blood and oxygen are interrupted, the brain cells only survive for a short time. For this reason, many times these attacks leave sequels (effects or consequences) and the people who suffer them must reorder their life and their activities and follow rehabilitation treatments.

In that process, men are those who seem to be most affected. Researchers at the College of Health Sciences at the School of Social Work at the University of Cincinnati, in the United States, evaluated the symptoms of depression and the ability to perform routine activities such as bathing and cutting food, of 36 people who had suffered a first stroke in the previous 36 months (16 women and 20 men).

The researchers also examined the level of uncertainty survivors had about their health or the outcome of their stroke and found that uncertainty about health was strongly associated with greater depression in both sexes, although this relationship was stronger among men.

On the other hand, the authors pointed out that these findings suggest that talking to survivors and their families using clear and easy to understand terms could help to reduce the tension and anxiety of the survivors and in this way the results of the rehabilitation could be improved.

In addition, they hope that studies with people of varied social and economic backgrounds in the future will provide more information on how sex and health-related beliefs affect the outcomes of survivors and thus help determine why women They have some protection against depression after suffering a stroke, compared to men.

In all cases, a stroke is an emergency, even if the symptoms disappear. In an attack, the seconds can save lives. Therefore, take note of these signs that tend to occur suddenly, from one moment to another and for no apparent reason:

Numbness or weakness on one side of the face or facial droop.
Numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
Confusion and difficulty to speak or understand.
Difficulty to see with one or both eyes.
Difficulty walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination.
Severe and sudden headache with no known cause.
The faster a person who suffers a stroke is treated, the more feasible it is to reduce or even eliminate the damage it causes. Remember these warning signs: you can also save lives.

Also keep in mind that the gender-related health perceptions we talked about earlier (feeling physically stronger and in control of situations) can increase the level of frustration and depression after a much more severe stroke in the case of the men. In this case, I recommend that you seek the help of a professional and the family that provides the patient with all possible moral and emotional support.