Help!: Hello All. I am new to this... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Harekatie profile image

Hello All.

I am new to this community. I wonder if anyone feels like I do? Three months ago my darling Mum died and three weeks later I had a heart attack. I had a stent put in and I am told I am all fixed. However, I have the most awful anxiety and depression and feel really poorly on a daily basis. I am a 48 year old Mum to two teenage boys and a busy wife. Will my life ever be the same again? Will I ever regain my zest for life and not live in total fear every time I get a twinge or sensation in my chest?

20 Replies

I'm 51 and had my heart attack in July I think it's a long slow process to start to feel anything like normal I still get scared every day and fear every twinge I just want to be the old me but I think it's going to take a long time believe me everyone is the same so don't be to hard on yourself

Harekatie profile image
Harekatie in reply to Jasppip

Thank you for the reply. I just feel so scared all the time and think that this is my life now. Confined to doing hardly anything because of the fear.

I get really shaky some days and wonder if that is the drugs.

Nathan53 profile image
Nathan53 in reply to Harekatie

As if my previous reply wasn't long enough have you been in contact with the Rehab time if not I think it would be a good idea. I found them amazing giving reassurance and encouragement about physical activity. A lot of the meds also cause / contribute to some of the issues you mention and you could also review these but discussing with your GP.

Hello Harekatie - Sorry to hear you are having a difficult time. You have a lot going on at the moment. The fact that you recently lost your lovely Mother is more than enough to cope with and then a heart attack. I think you may feeling mentally and physically battered around. I had a heart attack 6 months after my Mother died and while I think I copied reasonably well I had / have periods of time usually a few days at a time when I feel very down. These are becoming less frequent. I think having a major health issue can interupt the natural grieving process. With me I was anxious and worried about myself and then had a sort of rebound guilt feeling. As unpleasant as feelings of anxiety and depression are they are also normal and nothing to fear - they usually pass and improve with time. If you feel they are taking over your life or becoming worse or unbearable you may benefit from some counselling. To recap you have had 2 of the most difficult events of life happen to you but you will get through this in time. Be kind to yourself seek support from your friends and family and make some time in your busy routine for yourself doing something that distracts you be it a physical activity or an interest.

Harekatie I had angioplasty (1 stent) in february after diagnosed with angina and 80% LAD blockage. Can I say it did take time to get over the anxiety and the twinges 2/3 months . Some Lifestyle changes and the Cardiac Rehabiltation program was instrumental - if you don't already have an appointment look to self refer or GP. Cardiac team were great. Stay well , David

Hi Katie,

My wife - an only child - lost her mum 5 months ago. You were unfortunate to have your heart attack while you will have been at a low point. It is critically important that you find ways of reducing your anxiety and eliminating sources of stress. You need to think about yourself for a change and take some time to recover. Perhaps your teenage boys are of an age where either they don’t realise the emotional upheaval you are going through or are too caught up in their own hormonal changes to realise. Perhaps your husband needs to create some space for you.

There is life after a heart attack. Just take this one as a warning and think about any lifestyle changes you can make. There are many fit and otherwise healthy people who succcumb to a heart attack and those who survive usually recover to resume at least close to their previous exercise regime. Don’t worry. Set some time aside for yourself do something you enjoy. Give yourself a treat.

Take care and best wishes.


Harekatie profile image
Harekatie in reply to IanMK

Thank you so much for your encouragement. I have been told I am a bit impatient. Hopefully things will start to improve. The anxiety has been much worse than the actual event!


what you're feeling is very normal. I had HA just before Christmas last year an stents fitted. I felt every twinge and ache as though it would be my last and got exceptionally anxious. Fortunately it gets much better as time passes, yes I still get 'down' days but they are much further apart. Cardiac rehab will help as will talking to the others taking the course. Your GP should also help

As one doctor told me - we are great at fixing the physical you, less so at fixing the mental you. It will get better - honest.

Good luck with yor recovery


Harekatie profile image
Harekatie in reply to

Thank you for your encouragement. I just want a day when I don’t think about anything heart related !

It will come, honest and from personal experience the good days soon outweigh the bad days, I know it sounds trite but you will get better and time is the healer. Please take the offer of Cardiac rehab if you can. I found it a tremendous help


Harekatie profile image
Harekatie in reply to

Yes, I am doing cardiac rehab it is helping but all the others seem so happy and getting on with life. I feel so young for all of this.

Took me a while to stop worrying. First of all I went to the cardio rehab sessions which explained a lot about heart attacks etc. Then went to Cardio Rehab gym sessions which gave me more confidence. Initially I found myself out of breath easily and very tired and I worried about doing anything like lifting or even going walking but I started walking to the park and increasing the distance I walked as I felt I could. The turning point was when I actually went to lift something without thinking about it first. Had my heart attack 3 months ago, im now back at work trying to lead a normal life, I can’t forget that I’ve had a heart attack but I’m able to adjust my work style, I lift a lot of boxes during the day, to minimise the chance of reoccurrence.

Biggest problem now is convincing my wife that things are fine and that I’m take the necessary precautions, but as the days pass life is becoming more normal, but I’m not taking anything for granted

Hope this helps

Thank you. It’s all about trusting my body again and my stent. I guess it takes a while.

It could be the drugs but I think it's more likely the life changing event and losing your mum as well. I was angry and cried all the time for weeks after my HA I'm still nothing like the old me so much I can't do but I think in time it must get better at least I hope so.

Harekatie profile image
Harekatie in reply to Jasppip

I hope I will get the old me back again soon

I had an heart attack two weeks ago,it's very normal to feel aches and pains and fear the worst, everyone does,I am trying to block it from my mind and have been a little better doing it,if I get a pain I just think to myself it's ok it's not another attack.I have two friends who have had really bad heart attack and they said it takes years , so try not to worry too much that's what I plan to do.

Harekatie profile image
Harekatie in reply to brads27

I hope that in time I will enjoy my life again.

Heart attack and stents 5 weeks ago and feeling the same as you but my rehab nurse has been a huge help and a talk to my GP yesterday. What you are feeling is normal; it's just how I've been feeling but know what? It does improve. I found myself almost running upstairs without being breathless yesterday. I was utterly shocked. Sitting around is the worst thing you can do. Your heart does need to heal but also it's a muscle which needs exercise; gently at first then stronger under the guidance of your rehab nurse. Do go to rehab and do the exercises and phone her when you are worried about something. Doing exercises under guidance will give you much more confidence and see your GP about your anxiety and depression. Losing a parent takes years to get over.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Qualipop

As someone else said, a heart attack is a warning to change your lifestyle and diet. It's a second chance at life-Make the most of it

Bless you, thank you. I didn’t realise that anxiety could make you feel physically unwell. I’ve never felt so ill and scared in my life

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