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Emotional Reactions to Having Heart Failure

Many people with heart failure become discouraged and depressed about their health and the physical limitations on their daily lives.

Feelings of depression are common for people who have a long-term (chronic) disease. You may also be feeling lonely and envious of other people who are living their lives without the discomfort and inconvenience that you are experiencing.

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Edema Overview

Edema is the medical term for swelling. It is a general response of the body to injury or inflammation. Edema can be isolated to a small area or affect the entire body. Medications, infections, pregnancy, and many medical problems can cause edema. Edema results whenever small blood vessels become "leaky" and release fluid into nearby tissues. The extra fluid accumulates, causing the tissue to swell.

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Watch for symptoms of depression

Depression causes you to feel sad and hopeless much of the time. It's different from normal feelings of sadness, grief, or low energy. Depression is a medical problem that needs treatment. If you think you may be depressed, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment right away. Untreated depression may get worse.

If you think you may have depression, take this short quiz to check your symptoms: Interactive Tool: Are You Depressed?

Ask for help

If you think you might be depressed, talk to your doctor. The sooner you know if you are depressed, the sooner you can get treatment. Treating depression is good for your health. Your doctor may refer you to another doctor who diagnoses and treats depression.

Many people have concerns about seeking treatment for a mental health problem. You might feel too embarrassed to ask for help, or maybe you think that you'll get over depression on your own. You may think it's a sign of weakness, or you don't want people to know about it. It's important to overcome these reasons for not seeking treatment.

For help staying healthy if you have depression, see the topic Depression.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
Last Revised July 30, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 30, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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