After being diagnosed with a heart condition or experiencing a cardiac event, such as a heart attack, it is completely normal to feel sad, angry, lonely, confused, scared or anxious. These emotions are likely to not only affect you but your loved ones too. Close family and friends may also feel guilty or responsible that they could not protect you from ill-health.

Whilst all these emotions are valid and understandable, it is important to deal with them as well as possible. Depression and anxiety can lead to a lack of social interaction, in turn slowing recovery and increasing your risk of more cardiac problems.

Lonely Man


Initial Steps

You may experience these overwhelming or negative emotions in the first days or weeks after diagnosis or attack. At this stage, it is completely normal - it takes time to adjust to new information or to deal with the shock after a heart attack, so be kind to yourself and allow yourself the time to acclimatise.

If these emotions are still dominant after a few weeks, there are a number of steps you can take to look after yourself and to start feeling more positive again.

  • TALK: Simply talking about how you feel can be a huge help, taking some weight off your shoulders. Some people can feel that they are a burden on their partners or closest friends and, whilst this is not the case, discussions about emotions can be difficult. Your doctor, consultant or other healthcare professionals are all here for you and can provide assistance and support to help you.

  • EAT WELL: Eating a balanced diet every day can reduce your blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and support you in maintaining a healthy weight. Choosing foods that improve your physical health can support your mental health, as you are proactively looking after yourself.

  • TAKE YOUR MEDICATION: This may seem an obvious point but, due to becoming overwhelmed, some patients skip medications or take the wrong dosage. If you are at all unclear on what medications you need to take, how much or when, talk to your doctor to ensure you have all the information you need.

    If you struggle when on the go, especially with temperate-sensitive medications such as Toprol or Veletri, FRIO pouches can help - they keep medications between the safe temperatures of 18-26°C for a minimum of 45 hours. MedicAlert members can save 10% using the code MEDA10.

SHOP FRIO NOW

  • SOCIALISE: If you are not feeling yourself or are experiencing emotions such as anger, confusion or anxiety, you may not feel like spending time with other people. However, socialising can be a great aid in starting to feel more upbeat, showcasing the support network available all around you and the positive aspects of your life that are still right there!

    If socialising feels overwhelming, start small: go for a short walk with one friend, pop to the cinema in a small group, meet up for coffee. Alternatively, you may fancy a larger group activity so that you can lean back and enjoy the atmosphere without feeling like there is any pressure on you to entertain.

  • STAY ACTIVE: Much like maintaining a healthy diet, physical activity can reduce your risk of further cardiac issues by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is also great for mental health, whether it is spending some time in the great outdoors or allowing you to exert some stress as you blow off steam. Take it easy and talk to your doctors about what exercise levels will be beneficial to you before you start.

Spending Time Together


Staying Safe

It can be scary, trying to get back to normal after a cardiac episode. You may initially feel scared that you are vulnerable when out and about, leading to decreased activity levels or even staying at home all the time.

Equally, loved ones may feel that they do not want you to be alone at any time. MedicAlert membership can support you in every step of looking after your health; our services help those with heart conditions to stay active and independent, knowing that their medical information is accessible if it is needed. Over 15,000 MedicAlert members are living with a heart condition, with many telling us that our service provides them and their loved ones with peace of mind, allowing them to live life to the full and join in.

MedicAlert ID jewellery is engraved with your most vital medical information, helping emergency responders to make accurate initial care decisions when every second counts. Your full medical record is then available, if required, via our 24/7 emergency line and can include information about your conditions, allergies, medications, implants or documents such as clinical reports.

“I love the security that my MedicAlert ID gives me, especially if I have to travel alone, knowing that it can speak for me when I can't.” - Louise Pritchard

See how MedicAlert is already supporting those with heart conditions:


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