Emotional reactions to having heart failure

Many people with heart failure become discouraged and depressed about their health and the physical limitations on their daily lives. You may find that you:

  • Have mood swings.
  • Cry easily.
  • Feel afraid or anxious.
  • Get frustrated.
  • Are irritable.
  • Are not able to concentrate.
  • Have "good days" and "bad days."

You should be aware that these feelings of depression are common for people who have a long-term (chronic) disease. You may also be feeling lonely and envious of other people who are living their lives without the discomfort and inconvenience that you are experiencing. Don't be ashamed to let those around you know when you are having a "bad day" because you are not feeling well.

Discuss your feelings of depression with your doctor. Your doctor may recommend that you speak with a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, or spiritual advisor about your feelings. He or she also may prescribe an antidepressant medicine if depression persists.

Try to be both patient with your feelings of depression and active in dealing with them. For more information, see the topic Depression.

Last Updated: August 25, 2008

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