Joan's Story: Coping With Depression and Anxiety From Heart Failure - Joan's story
Joan talked to her husband and some of
her close friends about her feelings. They told her that she was the same
person they always loved. But Joan felt she needed more help. Her doctor
recommended a counselor.
The counselor "helped me see that I was
focusing on all the things I couldn't do anymore,
instead of the things I could do. I may not be able to
play singles tennis as intensely as I did before, but I can play doubles. I can
still take walks and swim. I may have to take more breaks, but I can still do
One of the ways the counselor helped Joan was by
showing her how to stop negative thoughts when they overwhelmed her. "She
taught me how to recognize when I'm saying negative things to myself and how to
stop it. Then I practice saying something positive instead."
doctor also prescribed an antidepressant, which Joan plans to take until she
and her doctor feel she is ready to stop.
Joan has gotten a lot of
her strength back. She knows that she will have good days when she has a lot of
energy, and she'll have bad days when she feels tired.
"But I'm doing much
better than I was when I was sitting on the curb outside my house and feeling
sad. I enjoy my life again."
This story is based on information gathered from many people living with heart failure.