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Depression, fear, anxiety. Not myself...
I am 48 years old. Father of 2 boys 10&7. Awesome wife. Supportive family and friends. Fit and healthy, so I thought. During one of my runs I started to feel chest pains. After some tests the diagnosis was a 95% blocked artery. I now have a stent. All this happened in the last 2 weeks. Physically I am healing. I have no idea what is going on with me psychologically. Sometimes I will feel great for about 1/2 of the day and out of nowhere I feel anxiety creep up. I get scared and paranoid. I get depressed. I want these feelings to go away so that I can just get on. I understand I’m lucky I found this and got it taken care off. The doc said it’s post traumatic stress but I am at a loss on how to cope when the feeling starts to come on. Could it be a side effect of the Lipitor medication?
AHAASAKatie, July 8, 2019 9:47am EST
Good morning, I am so sorry that you are experiencing this. Depression and anxiety are very common post-heart event. Please know that you are not alone and we are here to help support you through this time. Best Katie
JeffB, July 8, 2019 10:57am EST
Hey, this is totally common but different for everyone. Mine was a big old hairy unruly beast that only showed up post heart attack and never really went too far away from my side afterwards. I did however get better at handling it. I would suggest getting a therapist. Exploring the grief process for me was pivotal. I had to let go of my old life plan, tear everything down and rebuild. That’s a tall order for any man. Try to stop yourself from zooming out and getting too big picture as well. Focus on today and into tomorrow and next week without jumping ahead to 5 or ten years from now. That kind of thinking helped me to stop doing the “trying to control the things I can’t “place and more involved in enjoying the moments I have.
Also, don’t fall prey to disaster thinking. Statistics can be turned around, one of my friends responded to me saying that “a person has a 25% chance of having another heart attack after the first” – my buddy gave me the look and simply said “yeah, but you have a 75% chance of not having one.”
If you are worried about the medication, then talk to your Dr and explore any potential side effects you might be experiencing with him or her. There are alternatives out there.
Lastly, get back out there on the running trail. That was one of the first places I began to heal. Not just physically but in my head. As a runner, I’m sure you’ll understand what I mean there.
In good health,
JamesPL, July 8, 2019 2:25pm EST
I had a quintuple bypass operation that was also discovered after I had experienced severe chest pains during one of my morning runs. The anxiety you’re feeling is common. You become a little apprehensive about exercising and doing some other activities. The more you adjust, the more this will begin to fade. I have had many unexplained chest pains over the years. But I get them checked out and it gives me peace of mind. I should also point out that it was explained to me that depression is common and help is available. Talk to your cardiologist to see if that could be a possibility and what help is available. Also see what activities you are allowed to do. With your cardiologist’s blessing, you’ll feel better about physical activity which is very important to continue.
I wish you all the best!