Scientists have found that stress can prevent patients from resuming a normal life, even if the brain damage itself is relatively minor.
A study found that of 100 stroke survivors, more than a third displayed typical stress symptoms such as painful memories, flashbacks and extreme anxiety.
Tests for post-traumatic stress disorder are not part of the usual care of subarachnoid haemorrhage victims.
But it is hoped that these new findings will help doctors identify people most at risk by assessing how they deal with self-blame, denial and not being able to cope - all symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
Subarachnoid haemorrhage often strikes much younger people than other types of stroke, and many victims never return to work because of the stress factors.
Offering these patients pre-emptive treatment might help them develop effective coping strategies, say the scientists.
Related article: Emergency nurses at risk from PTSD
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