A stroke is not something you prepare for. So you’re going to have a lot of questions when it happens. That’s why we’re here. We have lots of information to help you understand what’s happened and get the support you need.

Here we’ve tackled some of the questions that you're likely to have, including details of how to find out more.

What’s happened?

Because a stroke happens so quickly, people sometimes leave hospital without being completely sure what’s happened or why. You need to understand what a stroke is and the things that make it more likely to happen, so that you can do all you can to reduce the risk of it happening again.

Will I get better?

Because every stroke is different, there is no set pattern for recovering from one. So it can be difficult to say how well or how quickly you’ll recover.

It’s likely that you’ll see some immediate recovery in the first few days and weeks after your stroke. After this early burst of recovery, progress tends to slow down. This is normal and doesn’t mean that you won’t recover any further.

Getting better will involve rehabilitation, which is about overcoming and adapting to the effects of your stroke. Your therapists will give you exercises and advice to help your relearn abilities you have lost and how you new ways of doing things. Starting your rehabilitation as soon as possible after your stroke will help to avoid further problems from developing and give you the best chances for recovery.

Will I have another stroke?

For many stroke survivors, their greatest fear is having another stroke.

Once you’ve had a stroke your risk of having another is increased, but understanding what factors may have caused your stroke will help you know how to reduce your risk of having another one. If you’re not clear, go back to your GP and ask for more information about your own risk of a stroke.

How do I cope with what’s happened?

Stroke brings a lot of questions and uncertainty with it. Coping with this can be overwhelming for both you and the people around you. Fear of another stroke, anger and grief about the things you’ve lost, shock and helplessness are all natural emotions to have after a stroke.

Coping with these emotions is not easy. If you’re struggling, you need to speak up. Your doctors, family or friends may not think to ask about how you are feeling, but there is support available if you need it.

Talking to your doctors and therapists and getting answers to your questions will help you feel more in control of your situation and help you plan for the future. Talk to your social worker about the support you can get when you return home, as well as the financial support that’s available. 

Five things you need to know

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if it’s weeks or months later. It’s important that you understand what happened and why.
  • Coping with the impact of stroke is not easy but the best thing to do is talk about it – with the people around you and professionals who can offer support.
  • Friendships can slip away after a stroke but friends are important. Talk to them about what has happened as they may not appreciate the impact that your stroke has had on you.
  • Remember that recovery takes time and patience, as well as practice and determination. Some days will be harder than others but the important thing is to keep going.
  • Don’t forget, we’re here to help you. Whether you want to know more about stroke and its effects, are looking for practical information and support, or simply need someone to talk to, there are lots of ways that we can help.

Find out more

  • We have information on all aspects of stroke, so take a look at our publications library. Our guide Next steps after a stroke may be a good place to start, as it tells you about what to expect when you’ve had a stroke and the people who can help you in your recovery.