Depression Is Real

I've been reading many posts lately about some heart sisters who think that they may be depressed and some who know that they are. Ladies, it is quite normal for you to feel this way after a life changing event. Heck, people even get depressed without experiencing a life changing event. It is also ok to speak to your doctor about it and seek treatment. You don't have to continue to stay in the doom and gloom. There are so many treatment options out there for treating depression and realted conditions and so many new and effective depression meds acceptable to take, even though you may have a heart condition!

Please, seek help for depression!

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I second that cajngrl. I had OHA in Aug 2010 and definitely had symptoms of depression relating to the experience that have only recently improved. I went to counselling and used medication to help me over the rough spots. I have been diagnosed with microcoronary vascular dysfunction and one of the sites I found when doing research actually listed depression as a symptom of this condition along with the usual angina, SOB, fatigue. I think it was in something from the Mayo clinic. Anyway, good to see it being acknowledged in print. Dealing with depression should be part of the management plan.

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Absolutely - depression is cited as a side effect of heart disease in at least 30% of patients according to the material my doc gave me - and my therapist says she feels it's an issue for almost 100% for good reason. And depression is not simply a mood but an actual chemical change in our systems which often cannot be rebalanced without medication of some kind. (and seasonal changes also can play a part so as we head into darker times with winter, we're even more likely to feel it). I wanted to see if I could avoid an antidepressant this time though I have been on them in the past and at the moment I'm taking Neural 5HTP which is a supplement suggested by my Integrative doc at the hospital. I don't notice it but when I didn't take it for a few weeks, I definitely felt the difference. That said, I have recently wondered if I should take my doc up on the offer of zoloft - more for anxiety than depression but I'm considering it. And I depend on my weekly visits to my therapist, meds or no.

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Thank you for bringing that up, Cajungrl. Aside from many postings that can be found here in the search bar, Carolyn Thomas' site: is chock full of great information about this. I urge anyone to look up her blog for all kinds of excellent information, too.

All the best, Mary

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I certainly have struggled with depression and I realize it is normal to a degree. I was put on a med and seriously three days taking it I started having very disturbing thoughts and I quit taking it and am fine. I suppose just having those thoughts I realized maybe I can deal with depression on my own. I don't like anything that interferes with the mind. I know people who take them and have done great on them, me on the other hand I'm to afraid to take anything now. I started seeing a therapist, I suppose it helps a little. I found that just getting out and staying busy is the best medicine for me. I am in no way saying these meds are bad to take, because I know several people and they are doing quite well on them, I just to afraid of them.

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I also read that outcomes for women with heart issues suffering from depression can be much poorer.

I was on meds for depression before my MI. I am planning on re-evaluating that and seeking therapy. I did update my Psych on my MI and new meds to make sure all was kosher.

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Good idea, Eshsquared! I also have two stents though I am way older ... and I really depend on my therapist to support me. In fact, I think I waited too long to start seeing her - the adjustment to all of this takes quite a while and I initially pretended I was ok ... not smart at all. And while I'm a year and a half out from my HA, I find that the issues shift - I just recently found it really helpful to revisit what exactly happened during my HA with her and found that that helped easing some non-specific anxiety that was creeping up on me.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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Are there any medications that don't put you to sleep? I work full time; I cannot be drugged out. I have a horribly bad back and have to take medication for it and arthritic pain - my doctor nor most others that I've met are very good at pain control. There is really no such thing. They are so frightened of the federal government coming down on them if they prescribe reasonable pain medication, long term. My doctor literally gave me 20 Tylenol 3s instead of a full prescription because I had an apointment with a pain management specialist. I had to be her for that - she seems terrified of prescribing medication, even though she is aware of my chronic back, hip pain. I can't help but believe that the pain levels I have every day, with no break, are more damaging to my heart than pain meds.

I have had it with all of them. If I don't learn how to control the depression, anxiety, and pain myself, I am going to be in trouble. I also have personal problems, like we all do, that are wearing me down. Any suggestions.

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I have 3 stents - had to had several surgeries. I have the intecostal muscle pain under my right shoulder / my chronic back (sacrum), hips, and now arthritis in left shoulder, very badly. Haven't found a doctor who gives a damn. The pain specialist gave me 3 injections at a cost of around $7,000 each --- nuts. I didn't know what the cost was; they told me it was covered. I may be stuck with over $15,000 in medical bills I didn't expect and don't have the money for. As I said, I wouldn't give you a plug nickel for any doctor I've met in my life -- they are very good at billing!!!!!!!

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The information provided by this online support network through WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease and Inspire is for general informational purposes only. The information is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. If you are ill, or suspect that you are ill, see a doctor immediately. In an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease never recommends or endorses any specific physicians, products or treatments for any condition.