Caregiving: The Grief Process: Depression

An excerpt from my book:  One Arm One Leg 100 Words, Overcoming Unbelievable Hardships


The next stage is depression. Losing the quality of life you once had can cause you to wonder if life is really worth living anymore. Charlene wanted to die. You could see it in her eyes. There was no sparkle in them anymore.

The doctors warned me not to leave her alone with her medications. I would have these visions of coming home and finding her dead on the floor, or waking up and finding her dead in our bed from a pill overdose. The doctor finally prescribed an anti-depressant that helped her depression (and my morbid visions). Also, her faith allowed her to realize that if God wanted her dead, He would have taken her home when she had the stroke. Therefore, she began to accept that she must still have a purpose for being alive.

Depression is a normal symptom for any stroke victim. Doctors routinely prescribe anti-depressants to take the edge off of a depression that is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain caused by the stroke. In this case, the patient not only feels depressed for all of the obvious reasons (experiencing many losses), but also for the imbalance.

Many stroke victims routinely take their own lives, according to doctors. Men usually use a gun, and women usually take an overdose of pills.

Thankfully, Charlene was never suicidal, but she does get frustrated and cry more easily when she happens to run out of her low-dose anti-depressant prescription. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a drug that makes you dopy, or gives you symptoms similar to being under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs. It simply restores the chemical imbalance in the brain so that it functions normally again. Charlene has no symptoms or side effects from it. We are both very grateful for that.