Depressive Emotions after Heart Attack Should Not Come as a Surprise
- Posted on: May 15 2017
There is no planning for a heart attack. Therefore, the occurrence of such a cardiac event is highly likely to cause what we would describe as “aftershocks,” emotional reaction to the unexpected and potentially fatal experience. Research indicates that there are several common responses that a heart-attack victim may encounter, anger, anxiety, depression, even loneliness. On the flip side of these frightening emotions, there is hope. The objective is to navigate this journey skillfully, and that may mean getting proper assistance.
There is Sadness, and then there is Depression . . .
Sadness and depression are not the same, though they may share similarities. To face sadness after a heart attack is completely normal. In many instances, this cardiac event equates to the loss. It could be the temporary loss of normal physical activity or even the loss of security related to health and vitality. Life after a heart attack involves finding a new normal and integrating new habits into daily living.
Depression could be described as an intense sadness, a cloud that weighs heavily on the psyche. The person who falls into depression after a heart attack may regain the physical ability to live, but not the emotional capability. Appetite and energy level decreases, sleep patterns change, a period of grieving may develop. Depression can inhibit human relationships and needs to be addressed in an appropriate manner.
The Stress Factor
When we must adapt to a life change – any life change – there is bound to be stress. Even good changes, such as an unexpected windfall, create stress. The very nature of a heart attack sets the tone for intense stress, though, to such an extent that depression and anxiety are difficult to manage. We cannot “cure” the stress that one faces after a heart attack. On the contrary, what physicians and loved ones can do is foster ways to manage the impact of this event and its emotional consequences.
Heart attack survivors need an emotional wellness plan just as much as they need a physical wellness plan. This may involve setting a timer to ensure an early bedtime. Research demonstrates a clear advantage among individuals who sleep 7 to 9 hours each night. Physical activity that is in line with general health also provides an outlet for pent-up energy in the body. Not every person is geared toward meditative practice, but several options exist to expand the patient’s horizons. These include art therapy and moving meditation practice, such as yoga or Tai Chi.
Cardiac events are not cut-and-dry, and they do not revolve only around the physical. Our team offers professional medical treatments in a caring environment. To learn more about us, call 516-437-5600.
Posted in: Cardiac Arrest