Importance of Emotions


Often the emotional impacts of a cardiac event have a greater impact on patients than the physical impacts.  

Shortly after a heart attack many patients are physically able to return to their previous activities. They often report however that they are experiencing unfamiliar emotional issues or not feeling "quite right" even after the physical impacts of the event have passed.


It is common for heart patients to experience some or all of the the following;

  • depression
  • high levels of anxiety, 
  • stress,
  • fear,
  • shock
  • denial
  • anger, and
  • loss of confidence.

Other outcomes of a cardiac event may include:

  • trouble sleeping
  • vivid dreams,
  • memory difficulties and
  • concentration difficulties

The National Heart Foundation (Australia) reports that after a heart attack (or bypass surgery) up to 40 percent of patients experience depression (See Here)

AND it is not only the patient that is impacted by the event, partners, family, friends, colleagues and associates are effected also.

Many heart patients and their families and friends are surprised by these reactions.

Heart patients often experience a "roller coaster of emotions" on their journey as they readjust to life with a heart condition.


Most of these reactions are normal 

and often temporary..


For many people just knowing that these reactions are common or "normal" is enough to help them cope.


However,

it is important to manage these emotional reactions because they impact our quality of life and they can also impact our probability of experiencing future heart events.

People experiencing significant long term psychological impacts often don't manage their 'risk factors' effectively.

They often

  • reduce or abandon their exercise program
  • forget or choose not to take medication
  • give up healthy eating
  • continue to smoke
  • overuse alcohol

By effectively managing our emotional response to heart events we can improve our physical and mental health as well as decrease our risk of future events.







© Len Gould 2013 Heartemotions (Version 1_2)