Recognising depression and anxiety

People with a serious condition like heart failure are bound to feel very sad or down at times. However, if these feelings persist and you notice that your partner or relative is not enjoying daily activities as they used to, or that your relationship is suffering, then this could be a sign of depression.

It’s important to seek medical help for depression or anxiety as these conditions are often treatable. If left they can make your partner’s condition, as well as your general health, worse.

If you see some of the following symptoms in your partner or relative consistently for more than two weeks, then they may be depressed:

  • despondent mood/feeling sad
  • more irritable than usual
  • changes in appetite
  • loss of interest in things they used to enjoy
  • withdrawal from others
  • excessive sleepiness or waking too early
  • constantly tired/no energy
  • feeling worthless or guilty
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • thoughts of death and suicide.

Your partner or relative may be overly anxious if they have any of the following symptoms for more than two weeks:

  • excessive worry
  • fear
  • showing more tension than usual
  • restlessness
  • feeling jumpy or shaky.

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ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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