Survivors of Serious Cardiac Events

Cardiac arrest can happen suddenly.

Imagine waking up to find yourself in a hospital bed and having no idea how you got there.

When you’re well enough to ask questions, you find out that you had a heart attack.

Or more frightening, that you had a sudden cardiac arrest and were dead for a time before being brought back to life with CPR and a defibrillator.

I don’t need to imagine it. I am one of the lucky few who survived a sudden cardiac arrest.

Surviving is just part of the process.

You may feel gratitude but not without emotional and mental distress.

You might think that survivors of sudden cardiac arrest, heart attacks, bypass surgery, and other serious cardiac events are so happy to be alive that they wouldn’t experience depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

And yet, many survivors experience these issues.

You’re not alone; you’re not unique.

Recovery is both mental and physical.

The mental and emotional recovery from a cardiac event can take much, much longer than the physical recovery.

A cardiac event can cause a person’s grasp on life to feel uncertain and to hesitate to take on activities they once enjoyed.

Being incapacitated by the event can cause a decrease in self-esteem when roles at work and in one’s family change.

Guilt is a common symptom of depression, and people who’ve had a cardiac event may feel guilty about the behaviors that damaged their heart and body. They may also feel ashamed of how they are not physically as capable as they once were.

Even a mild cardiac event can cause mental and emotional anguish.

Lisa* had been health-conscious and exercised three or four times a week over the course of her life. She had no previous history of heart disease.

One day she had a heart attack during one of her jogs. She described feeling shortness of breath as her only symptom.

She went to a local emergency room and had a cardiac catheterization, which identified one artery with a 90% blockage.

A stent was successfully inserted. She was back to her previous exercise routine several months after her procedure with the blessings of her cardiologist and other health care providers.

Nonetheless, she frequently thought about the possibility of having another heart attack and whether she would survive it.

You can regain your confidence.

Heart disease has been called “the silent killer.” Don’t suffer in silence with post-cardiac event emotional distress.

Let me help you get back to being confident and feeling there’s a purpose to your life.

Call me at (908) 393-6300 now to schedule a free 20-minute consultation or complete the contact form.

*Name changed to protect client confidentiality.