Learning how to deal with your emotions is an important part of taking control of heart failure. Although people with heart failure commonly experience depression or anxiety, it does not mean you have to resign yourself to living with these feelings. It is important for your overall well being that you take positive steps to manage these problems.

There are many things you can do to combat these negative emotions and improve your quality of life:

  • Talk about your feelings to someone you trust and respect

  • Ask your family and friends for support

  • Take a more active role in managing your heart failure by learning more about your condition. Research has shown that people who take more control of their condition are less depressed and anxious

  • Focus on following your treatment plan carefully and engage actively in decisions about your management

  • Exercise regularly and increase your activity level - feeling better physically can also decrease depression and anxiety

  • Get involved in new activities that you can enjoy and can give you a new outlook on life

  • Consider joining a support group for people with heart failure - it can be helpful to discuss your feelings with other people who have similar issues

  • Try to see the lighter side of your situation - laughter is amazingly therapeutic.

If your depression or anxiety is severe, or does not get better, then speak to your doctor or nurse. A consultation with a psychologist may be very helpful. There are also medicines that have been shown to safely reduce anxiety and depression in patients with heart failure.

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