Heart failure brings big changes to your life. You may struggle with sadness and worry. You may wonder if you'll still be able to enjoy your life. Coping with your feelings and seeking help when you need it can help you live better with heart failure.
Depression and anxiety
Heart failure can be hard on your emotions. You may feel depressed that you can't do some of the things you used to do. You may worry about your future. And symptoms of heart failure, such as shortness of breath, can make this anxiety worse.
You also can help yourself feel better by changing your "self-talk." Those are the things you tell yourself about how you're coping. Negative thoughts can make you feel bad. Changing the way you think can change the way you feel.
- Anxiety: Stop Negative Thoughts
- Depression: Stop Negative Thoughts
- Stop Negative Thoughts: Getting Started
One Woman's Story:
"I would sit at my kitchen table and feel I was in this cloud of dread. I didn't feel like me. I felt like, 'I'm never going to be me again.' "-Joan
Read about how Joan got help for depression and anxiety.
For more information, see:
- Stop Negative Thoughts: Choosing a Healthier Way of Thinking.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
The challenges of living with heart failure can increase your stress. And stress can make living with heart failure even harder. Stress also can disturb your sleep and make depression and anxiety worse. Explore ways to relax and manage stress to help your body, mind, and spirit.
- Stress Management: Doing Progressive Muscle Relaxation
- Stress Management: Managing Your Time
- Stress Management: Reducing Stress by Being Assertive
- Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation
- Stress Management: Doing Guided Imagery to Relax
- Stress Management: Doing Meditation
- Stress Management: Practicing Yoga to Relax
Emotional support from friends and family can help you cope with the struggles of heart failure. You might want to think about joining a heart failure support group. Ask your doctor about the types of support that are available where you live.
Cardiac rehab programs can offer support for you and your family. Ask your doctor if rehab is right for you.
Meeting other people with the same problems can help you know you're not alone. If you're shy or aren't a joiner, you can look at an online support group. Even though people online aren't talking face-to-face, they're sharing their feelings and creating a community.