Whenever anyone asks me about my post-stroke journey, I always start with post-stroke depression (PSD). This, in my opinion, is the worst disability anyone can have after a debilitating event. And I feel sorry for all the people out there who are affected by this monster. My battle with the monster started when I realized that some people have a quick recovery even though they don’t do much rehabilitation. And others like me and many more have to work their asses off to get anywhere. So, I started working my ass off and didn’t get very far until I came across the Saeboflex Glove, a hand orthotic that is used to not only strengthen the hand but also because of the ungodly number of repetitions involved to help neuroplasticity (more of this in a later post) take hold and lo-and-behold the hand starts to work again! I got to the point where I started typing again albeit very slowly and I then thought that typing could become a therapy. But then disaster struck and due to a different medication that my current psychiatrist gave me (Welbutrin) I had a series of mild seizures. And as you probably would guess I went into another depression and it was a bad one. So, after searching for a better psychiatrist and finding one, I had a couple of checkups from the neck up with him and finally, he suggested I try Cymbalta and it worked so now I am depression free; I have been on Cymbalta for years now, I tried to titrate off it not too long ago, but it was not to be, depression kicked back in and I got back on it right away. I’d rather be Cymbalta-dependent than depressed any time!
After that blip in my journey, I was lucky to conquer the monster and get back to the hard work of rehab and after this side trip, I lost all the progress I made. So, the point I’m trying to make is the sooner you identify that you have depression, get rid of it as soon as possible even if it means taking medication prescribed by your doctor.