DEPRESSION AFTER CABG.

Feburary 28th is a day that changed my life forever..."We wont be able to stint you so you will neeed 5 bypasses", we will do it Monday. The surgery went very well and physically I'm great, but this post op situational depression is kicking my butt. Anybody else dealt with this?

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hello and so sorry to hear that you're going through this. The first week or two after my double bypass, i came home and went into the bathroom and that was the first time i stood still long enough to look at my scar. Instantly, the tears flooded and i screamed out to God and asked..."WHY????????"!!!! I was so angry, so confused and so lost. i felt myself being pulled down into this depression that i cannot even begin to explain.

Then one day when it started to overcome me again and my eyes teared up...it was like all of a sudden i caught myself and said "what are you doing Robin?". I could allow this to beat me and i could allow myself to get pulled even deeper down, but i had to make a decision...which is the first thing you will have to do. I know it will be hard and i know it will be a constant effort on your part, but you must start paying attention to your thought life. Thoughts will enter and take over, but that's when you need to take control and say to yourself that you refuse to allow this heart disease to win.

If it has become so bad that you don't think you're able to pull out of it, then i would suggest talking with a therapist. There is NO shame in that and there is NO shame in how you're feeling. You've been through A LOT and there does come a sense of entitlement along with the depression...but that's a lie and you have to come to terms that crying and being depressed is not going to help you and you will need to vent and rely on help from friends and family.

We have all been through to some degree what you are going through and we are here to help, but again, if you feel it's beyond your control, then please don't hesitate to talk with your doctor about this and even find a therapist.

Prayers are with you and many blessings your way!
hugggs

Robin

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48, for me, getting back to work really helped. Certainly not that I love my work (I used to...), but just feeling that I was doing something helped. Night time got to me - couldn't sleep - the darkness was bad - I guess it was about 2 months worth. It does seem like nothing will ever be the same - of course not everything will be - but soon, you will be feeling your 'old self', able to do more things, feeling better and feeling better about yourself. It has been 4 months now and life is good. I remember early on after - Peter Frampton (who doesn't remember him....?) was on TV, bald and all, and I couldn't even watch or listen to the song as I was feeling about 130 years old and sorry for myself...... Unless something is 'really wrong', I bet it will pass quite soon - just think about and dwell on all of the postives you have in your life - you must have many.....

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I think that EVERYONE is feeling or felt the way you are feeling. It is completely normal too feel emotionally like #$%^ after sucha serious operation. It will get better. Trust us. We have all been there and have/are struggling every day with the same emotions you are going through. It sometimes helps if you know you aren't alone and you aren't. The only problem is we can't meet for lunch and discuss with each other! You will go through a roller coaster of emotions but it will eventually even out. If its really bad you have to let your doc know and they can help out. Just don't get islolated! it won't be good for your recovery-get a good support system. That is really important to a healthy recovery. Are you going through cardiac rehab? Take care and know we are just a click away if you need cyber support!! Hang out with someone who makes you laugh! :)

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At six weeks out you're at the worst point, in some ways. You've been through the initial feeling of just being glad that you woke up after the surgery and you're well into the physical recovery but not far enough that everything has stopped hurting. You've also realised that nothing is ever going to be quite the same as it was before, without yet having a clear view of what life might be like in future.

It sucks!

But it does get better. By 12 weeks you'll probably be back at work, well into cardiac rehab and beginning to adjust to life after your 'rebirth'. At 6 months life will have settled down to some kind of norm and you can start looking forward and planning what you are going to do with the 30 or 40 years that you've hopefully got ahead of you. Beyond 6 months I couldn't say, as I've only just got there but I've a feeling it will be OK.

But at 6 weeks it sucks.

At some point soon you'll need to find out if you are clinically depressed or just, quite understandably, pissed off. If it's the former then you'll need to get your doctor to make a temporary addition to your already exotic daily cocktail of drugs. If it's the latter you're going to have to work your way through it, one way or another. If it's any comfort, a lot of folks on this website have been there before you and can give you support along the way.

Good luck.

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After my triple bypass in Dec 2010, I too went through a terrible depression, but please beleive me, it really really does get better. Think everyone goes through and each probably gets out of the depression for different reasons. A week after I went to cardiac rehabilitation and started to see results, than I started to feel much much better as I saw a future and not just looking back at the past. Must add I am 80 and had a bypass twenty years earlier, plus have survived prostte and lung cancer, so have been through the mill, so to speak. Just try to stay as positive as you can, keep fighting through it, and never never give up. Good luck. Will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

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dear bypassed

1. don't just accept this depression. talk to your doctor. often it is caused by a beta blocker. if you are on one ask him to consider alternatives.

2. you are not bypassed your are rebooted!

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Dear Bypassed and Depressed,
You are among a huge legion of us with depression that came with our heart disease. I agree with the others that it can have some origins in our new meds, but am also convinced that the changes in our lives that heart disease demands can also have a huge effect on our emotions. Further, just going through a life and death situation sets us up for emotional upheaval.
The physical and emotional trauma of heart surgery can cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder- a condition that is famous because of the many warriors who've come home with ongoing terrors caused by war. We heart people develop PTSD quite often too.
If you feel that your depression has gone on too long, that you are isolated, that your life is being unreasonably disrupted by your depression- it may be time to consult a psychotherapist or counselor who can help you find tools to bring you back to yourself.
Often our cardiologists don't really want to deal with the messy emotional aftermath of our heart crises. Time to branch out and find other kinds of help.
Check out the PTSD/Depression (as related to heart disease) conversations on Inspire. There's a lot of wisdom and help to be had.
Good luck in your healing,
Melissa.

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Lots of good advice here. Don't forget - it DOES get better. Believe me. And if things seem a little down, come here and read through all the positive threads and remind yourself how lucky all we bypass survivors are, and how special.

Cheers,
Rob.

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I know what youre feeling.
I was bypassed CABGx6 with mitral valve repair at 49 yrs old. I have an ICD too. Bummer.
In otherwise great health, very active, non smoker and all of that jazz...blah..blah...blah. Didn't make any difference.
I am sick of people asking me "Betchya feel better now huh?".... hell no Im not feeling better ! I DO feel better, but NOT normal yet. Its been almost 10 months, maybe Im a slow healer, but I doubt it. I am back to living my regular life, well, very close to my regular life, it will NEVER be my old self, but I can deal with that now.

Less than 2 weeks ago I FINALLY felt like there was light at the end of the tunnel, it has taken me that long.

I had a tough time at night also, couldnt sleep and didnt do well because of the side effects of the medications Im on, but NOW Im starting to get better, mentally and physically.
The depression is tough. You'll be amazed, that at some obscure, undetermined date in the future you will just start FEELING BETTER MENTALLY. I dont know why, I dont know how, you just do, wait for that day knowing it is coming. I gave myself a year, if it didnt get better I was going to end it. Im very glad that day came and that I waited for it.
Im not completely out of the woods yet, but each day is better than the day before. Bypass surgery is a tough ordeal, just making it out the other end is an accomplishment.

Google up "PUMP HEAD" and see if that is part of what youre dealing with. It is not uncommon. I was on the heart/lung machine for 9.5 hrs. I understand that was a record for the hospital I was in for 2010.....Yayyyyy I won something!

Good luck

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Physically I could not ask to feel any better at my 8 week mark. No Chest Pain or Shortness of Breath. Walking Three miles in the hills four times a week and my weight continues to inch closer to my goal.....but its still those darn emotions that get me. I have figured that the surgery has made me depressed and this causes me to be aggrievated that I am not "as happy" as I once was or "as willing" to go & do as I once was or "as eagar" about anything as I once was. I am back working 3/4 days and its "OK". I also started Zoloft which I see no help in, but its only been a week and I'm on 25mg. I guess the worst part is the crying episodes...they are random and whats really bad is I cant tell you why I'm crying. They last a minute or two then just fade away. Thay are worse in the mornings and decrease through the day. The funny thing is as appossed to other entries that I have read, my favorite time of the day is night-time, say 7pm on. If you were to visit me would not even think that I had open heat surgery two months ago. At this time of the day everything is great in the world!!! At times, I have to look at my scars to remind me what has happened to me.....and then the morning comes. Please any questions, concerns or comments are always welcome.

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this is so hard. everyone keeps telling me how good i look but they dont see it from my eyes. i am 3 week out from bypassx 4 i am so alone. cant work family is so far way.of course when i had the surgry everyone was there now i am on my own.they think i should be fie now. just get back to life ya right my life is up side down.so depressed dont know what to doany more.

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I know what you feel like Cookie I'm alone here in IL with just my son who is dealing with his own illness and still depends on me to help him. I was alone through it all, my family is all back in MA and none were able to come out. So many things still don't feel right my donor leg is still numb all along where the scars are and there are five scars, I had multiple strokes and I still lose my balance and when I try walking my left leg will start to hurt so badly in the calf, it will bring tears to my eyes and I must stop and sit down. Hopefully not on the ground getting up isn't easy it's very hard actually. Everybody is so cheerful and asking me don't I feel ike a new person? No I don't, I feel scared and like no one is listening to me.

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To Bypassedat48.....Sorry to hear that you're suffering with the damned depression spells so much, but I'm sure you'll see that most all of us have had them. I'm now 5 months past a triple, and although they've diminished, I still get them and there doesn't seem to be a time of place that's particular...just sort of hits me out of the blue. Keeping busy helps but I know what you mean about being alone. Even if you're NOT, you can still feel like you are. People telling you how good you look, and how you're "all new now" Al the while you feel like crap and wonder why they can't see it. All the visitors from the first week or so, go back to their normal lives and you're often left alone with too much time to think about all that's happened....well at least that's what I've found. I guess the only thing I can say is, that in time it does get better. How MUCH time...depends on each of us and it's all different. It IS all normal though...the NEW normal as they call it. Just try to be patient....keep reading these postings from the many others that are going through the same things as you are. At least there's power in numbers and there's a great number of us out here. We DO understand and someone will always answer you. Don't give in to it.
Now, if only I can get a sunny day here! :)

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Been there, done that. We all have, but you just have to work through it. Life can kick you in the butt, but the alternative really sucks, so you must just try and keep as positive an attitude that you can, keep fighting, never, never give up. We are all out here rooting for you.....you ARE NOT alone. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Max

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ya its kicking mine too. 5 weeks out and everyone thinks i should be back to normal. my hole life was just turned up side down.

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Hi

I underwent a CABG 1 year back & it seems we all go through the same set of emotions. I can tell you what i used to do when surrounded with such thoughts. I just used to start counting1,2,3...... and so on. This should start as soon as you know that the depressing thoughts have begun coming....& i assure you that it worked for me! One just needs to break the chain of thought and things settle.

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At the end of this month i will have three years post cabg
My left arm hurts and my lower
Left chest hurts and I'M dissey.
Shacof

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hello i had a triple bypass in february of 2010 i had previously had eleven stents inserted four to the back of the heart and seven to the main artery unfortunately they couldnt stent me anymore so i had the bypass which unfortunately for me only worked 75 per cent so i have to go into hospital on 12th august 2011 to have another angiogram this will be my fourteenth one and they will stent me where the bypass graft failed ive also been in a considerable amount of pain since the bypass which got worse each day instead of getting better after begging my doctor to arrange for scans they found out i have a split breastbone which never knitted together and healed theres further talks of bone grafts to mend this but ive decided i dont want anymore surgery. i was and have been depressed many times after my bypass and the following misfortunes that ive experienced your body has just had major surgery and its normal to feel depressed as you also find you just cannot do what you would like to its a very frustrating and anxious time for you. ive just managed to rise above and pull myself up and out of this depressing stage of my life its not easy but then what is easy thats worthwhile. im sure you will feel down most days but it wont last you will soon rise above this period in your life and come out the other side a better person take care and i wish you a speedy recovery .....xxx

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So, I'm one year past my 8X CABG. Had somewhat the same experience as you. Chest pain, turned into a Cath. I'm thinking they'll give me some medicine, at the worste a Sent and send me on my way. Hearing the words "your going to need Cardiac By pass surgery" was not on the list! :-)

Since I had to wait about 6 days in th hospital I had time to research CABG's and the affects. I expected the depression they all talk about. I personally haven't experienced severe depression as they describe. I do get about one or two days a month where I'm a little "out of sorts" But they usually just last the day, and I'm over it. But anything longer than that I haven't experienced. However, this is a HUGE change in my personality! Talk to any one I know and they'd tell you there's never been a day (prior CABG) that I wasn't in a happy mood. So there was some affect. But none on the scale you've described.

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