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FAQ (Health)

 Dr. George Jacob
Heart Infocenter


Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)

Life After Your Heart Attack

Emotional Issues/ Mood Problems

One of the fears-if not the major one-after a heart attack is the fear of dying. In the aftermath of a heart attack, emotional problems facing a person may revolve around loss of health, money (medical and hospital bills), loss of the strong husband-provider role, and loss of control.

It is natural for your loved one to feel some amount of panic just before you are discharged after a heart attack. The future may look bleak. Your loved one may also blame himself/herself for your heart attack. He/she may feel that you should have been taken care of better. Talk it over. Make sure that your partner recognizes that it is not his/her fault. It does not help to delve on the past and on the negatives. It is important to move on and face the future. You have been given a second chance. Look forward and not backward.

Talk to your spouse about the future division of responsibilities and planning for future - who will take care of what, how the day-to- day responsibilities will be divided, etc. You have to draw on your friends to help you go through the initial period, especially if you have small children.

Some people may feel depressed. You may also experience anger, frustration, doubt, and fear. Some people may lose their self confidence. Your loved ones may also experience similar feelings. These will slowly disappear with time. Talk with your family and friends about how you feel. Sometimes talking about your heart attack and recovery may help. Joining a support group and getting counseling may be a good idea. The role of the husband and wife will change permanently after one of the partners had a heart attack. It will never be the same again.

Ultimately, the responsibility for getting on with living rests with the person who has suffered the heart attack. Before it is all over, both parties are liable to feel angry. In fact, anger in a recovering heart patient is as normal as depression. The person who has had the heart attack and the person who is providing the care can both feel sorry and angry at the same time. They may feel sorry for what has happened, angry that it has happened to them, and helpless (or remorse) that they could not prevent it. Accept the feelings for what they are. Talk it with your partner. It will help. Don't get into a shouting match. It can strain the heart in more ways than one.

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