Having a chronic disease is stressful.
It may require you and anyone you live with to make many changes to the way you are used to living. Some people react to all these changes by feeling depressed. Others pretend that nothing has changed and continue lifestyles that further reduce the heart's pumping abilities.
You may not like to have to ask for help with things that used to be easy for you. Family members may nag you or worry excessively over you.
Monitoring your feelings and emotions is an important but often forgotten part of living with heart failure. Emotional turmoil, stress, anxiety and depression make your heart work harder. Therefore, emotional and spiritual health goes a long way in giving an individual a "healthier" heart.
- Learning techniques to slow your breathing down and calming yourself, may reduce the workload on your heart. There are many different techniques available for calming the mind and spirit.
- Talking to other people who have similar changes going on may give you a good deal of support.
- Attending the monthly meeting here at the PAMF allows you to learn more about heart failure and to share your concerns in a supportive setting.
- Seek help if things have become unmanageable. PAMF's Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Department has a number of qualified professional counselors who can help you mange your stress and emotions. Speak with your physician about a referral, if you feel that you need to speak with someone.