Heart Disease and Emotions
Helps viewers recognize how the emotional reactions they have to heart disease can interfere with their recovery and suggests ways of coping. Actual patients share their experiences.
Managing your emotions can actually aid your recovery:
- direct link between physical recovery and managing your emotion
- some emotional reaction to heart disease is normal and healthy
Frustration, fear, anger, helplessness are normal emotions but if you find they aren't going away, you may need to seek professional help.
Emotional reactions can jeopardize your recovery:
- Anxiety or being fearful
The physical stress cycle:
- starts with the release of adrenaline
- causes muscle tension and makes your heart beat faster
- have to breathe harder and faster and may become short of breath
- cause you to become even more anxious releasing more adrenaline and the cycle is set in motion
Many people aren't aware that they have depression because feeling blue may come and go as a general reaction to heart disease.
- Overwhelming feelings of sadness
- poor concentration
- sleeping too little or too much
- a marked increase or decrease in appetite
- a loss of interest in your appearance or in things you used to care about and enjoy
- thoughts that it may be a relief just to end it all
Speak with your healthcare team about treatment options, which can vary from talk therapy to medication or a combination of both.
The process of recovery, which includes changing what you eat, exercising or giving up smoking can also effect your emotions.
There are many things that you can do so that these changes don't throw you for an emotional loop.
- start slowly
- set realistic goals and base them on actions you can take rather than on end results
- write down the pros and cons of making the change
- make time in your schedule to carry out your changes
- set aside time to evaluate your efforts
- expect to make mistakes
- know when to go for help
- take advantage of all the resources at your disposal
- reward yourself throughout your recovery
Dealing with family and friends:
- family roles and responsibilities change
- reaction to your heart disease may be similar to your own
- their reactions can create hurt feelings, anger, arguments, isolation and stress
- may treat you as if nothing happened, easier for them to act like it doesn't exist
Steps you can take to relieve these situations:
- talk about it
- get involved with their lifestyle changes
- common in both men and women
- talk to your partner
- talk to your healthcare provider
- your family
- your healthcare team
- support groups specifically for people with heart disease
Stress is inevitable, and reasonable levels of stress aren't necessarily dangerous but don't underestimate the importance of recognizing and managing stress.
- disrupted sleep
- eating too little or too much
- tension in your back, shoulders, neck, or chest
- not being able to relax and enjoy yourself
Even when you're feeling stressed, stick to your routine, like getting enough sleep and eating properly.
Develop a hobby.
Exercise, helps to restore physical and mental balance.
Learn a few relaxation techniques.