Fear & Uncertainty


Some of the questions asked by heart patients

Fear of the unknown is common because of our uncertainty.

Uncertainty arises from unanswered questions. 

Things we accepted as “given” now become uncertain.


A cardiac event raises many questions.

During a heart event and immediately after, patients question issues concerning survival, eg. life, death, vulnerability, impact on family.

Then making sense of the event and its impact becomes important.

As people recover other quality of life issues emerge. (eg. diet, medication, sexual activity).

Then lifestyle restrictions becomes a consideration.  (eg. such as travel).


As patients learn more about their condition and gain more experience of living with a heart condition most of these questions are answered or become less anxiety provoking.


SURVIVAL / VULNERABILITY / MORTALITY

  • Am I about to die?
  • How long will I live?
  • Will I be disabled?
  • Will exercise cause a heart attack?
  • Will it happen again?
  • What do I have to do to avoid this happening again?

WHY / UNDERSTANDING

  • How did this happen?
  • Why did this happen?
  • What happened?
  • Why wasn't I warned?
  • Why didn't my GP tell me?

QUALITY of LIFE / LIFE STYLE

  • Will I  be a burden on my family?
  • Will I be able to work again?
  • Will I lead a normal life?
  • Can I have sex?
  • Will sex give me a heart attack?
  • Will exercise cause a heart attack?
  • Will I have to take tablets for the rest of my life?

EMOTIONAL RESPONSE

  • Why am I afraid to go out?
  • Why am I so angry?
  • Why do I feel depressed?
  • Why can't I concentrate?
  • Why am I having memory problems?
  • Why have I lost confidence?

MAKING SENSE OF IT ALL

  • Has the problem been fixed?
  • Why hasn't it been fixed?
  • Why all the bother the cardiologist has fixed it?


The questions reflect the basic human drives and emotions of

- Need for survival 

- Need for meaning

- Need for security

- Desire for quality of life

We want to ensure our survival, understand what and why of the event and take action to minimise the risk of it happening again.



  



© Len Gould 2013 Heartemotions (Version 1_2)