After being diagnosed with heart health issues, your primary focus should be your physical wellbeing. However, it’s also important to nurture your emotional health. Depression is quite common after a heart attack or another major medical issue. Talk to your heart doctor about these strategies for caring for your emotional health.
Understanding Signs of Depression
Be mindful of the common signs of depression, including uneven sleeping patterns, and unintentional weight loss or gain. Some people lose interest in activities that they previously enjoyed, and others feel agitated or lethargic. Suicidal thoughts and concentration problems can also indicate depression. Your heart doctor may urge you to see a specialist if you’ve been experiencing these symptoms for at least two weeks.
Working with a Counselor
Ask your heart doctor for counselor recommendations. Working with a mental health counselor can help you move past these negative emotions so that you can start enjoying life again. Your counselor can help you learn to separate logical thoughts from irrational ones in order to better regulate your mood. He or she may also teach you breathing techniques and other stress reduction methods.
Reaching Out to Friends
Patients with heart health issues who experience depression tend to isolate themselves. If you’re feeling down, get out of the house and enjoy a sunny day at the park with a friend, or schedule a lunch date with your partner at your favorite restaurant. Let others know what you are struggling with, and consider joining a support group. Your cardiologist may know of local support groups for heart attack survivors.
If counseling is not enough to ease your distress, talk to a psychiatrist about taking antidepressants. Many people find that a combination of counseling and mood-stabilizing medication is effective at relieving depression. Remember to tell the psychiatrist about any other medications that your cardiologist has prescribed for you in order to avoid complications.
If you’re struggling with depression after being diagnosed with a heart health issue, you’re not alone. Learn more about caring for your heart health with assistance from the caring, knowledgeable cardiologists of Cardiac Solutions. Get in touch with one of our expert cardiologists today by calling (623) 876-8816.