Talking to your family/carer about how you feel

Many people believe there is some stigma associated with having emotional problems. Don’t worry, feelings of depression, anxiety and fear are very common when someone is diagnosed with a serious medical condition such as heart failure. If you are having difficulty coping with your feelings about your heart failure, it’s important that you seek help and support.

One of the most powerful things you can do to combat these negative emotions is to talk about these feelings with someone close to you. Sometimes the simple act of voicing a worry or fear out loud can make it more manageable and less overwhelming.

Talking to your partner, a close family member or a trusted friend about how you feel can be a great help. People who have more emotional support from family and friends tend to be less depressed and anxious. Unfortunately, when someone is feeling these negative emotions they tend to isolate themselves, which only makes the emotional problems worse. Reaching out to family through conversation, or by spending more time doing activities you enjoy together, or just having a family meal, can make a real difference to how you and they feel.

Humour is often a great healer. Don’t be afraid to make jokes or see the lighter side of your situation.

Return to Your emotions

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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