Acupuncture outperformed paroxetine across two separate indices (HAMD, SERS). The HAMD (Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression) is a 24 item symptomatic examination that measures several important aspects of mental health for depression patients (e.g., mood, suicidal tendencies, insomnia, interest in work and activities, psychomotor impairment, agitation, anxiety). Higher HAMD scores indicate increased severity of depression. The SERS (Rating Scale for Side Effects) measures is a 15 item examination of post-stroke depression adverse effects, including somatic symptoms, headache, dizziness, etc. Higher SERS scores indicate increased severity of depression’s adverse effects. At the 86.7% total effective rate, the acupuncture group demonstrated greater improvement than the drug control group across both tested indices.