Depression and suicidal thoughts - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Depression and suicidal thoughts

genteel
genteel

Hello everyone. I know that many of you have differing symptoms and problems wirh your heart. I just wondered if anyone was on anti depressants. I am presently suffering with low mood and depression and suicidal thoughts especially when my breathing is bad. I have not been sleeping well and feel tired and just wonder what is the point of carrying on. Sorry to go on like this, its just that even though i have had counselling and try to do everything as adviced by going to the gym, eating decent food, no alcohol etc etc i seem to have hit a brick wall. Should i try anti depressants, has anyone else tried them and felt better. Any advice would be most welcome. X

15 Replies
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Hello genteel, I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling blue and that you're still suffering from breathlessness after a few months on the tablets. Have you got a heart failure nurse who you could ring up tomorrow? Maybe there are some tweaks they could try to your medication that might help? I think also that cold weather makes it worse. I've not tried antidepressants myself but it's worth having a chat with the GP about it. I went to a counsellor too when first diagnosed but the advice they give doesn't always stick in the mind when you need it! January is a dreary time, it feels like we're all hanging on for a lighter evening and some bright sunshine - it will come soon though but it all contributes to how you feel. I hope you feel better soon and remember there are plenty of us out here listening!

Kristin1812
Kristin1812Heart Star
in reply to Pommel

There is a schoolof thought, that says it’s not so productive to have counselling quickly, after a traumatic event. Better to wait a while to get more out of it.

Pommel
Pommel
in reply to Kristin1812

That sounds like a useful idea, maybe an initial meeting and then something a year on unless it's needed before. When the day to day living with the condition is established.

Kristin1812
Kristin1812Heart Star
in reply to Pommel

Yes, I think you’re picking up that there will be different aims to counselling depending on where you have got to. Later counselling will probably focus on adjusting to some limitations or loss; but earlier counselling is likely to address the initial shock.

Hi Genteel. So sorry to hear about your depression. As Ponmel has said it’s important to speak with your GP and discuss the options of anti depressant medication as well as trying to sort out the breathlessness as a change in meds may help with that.

Do you have friends or family that you can speak to? Or someone from the rehab team? The BHF helpline also can help with support and is open weekdays.

I know you said you have been to counselling but it maybe that you need to have more sessions. The NHS tends to allocate about 6 sessions which wasn’t enough for me!

MIND have a helpline that can also help put you in the right direction

mind.org.uk/information-sup...

Also Samaritans have a helpline that can be accessed 24 hours if you need support

samaritans.org/how-we-can-h...

Please take care and know there are lots of people here who can offer support. Take care. Zena x

I think the suggestions offered by Zena and Pommel hit the mark Genteel. I am sure the BHF Nurses will be able to offer some support and they also have information on Groups in your area that you may be able to attend if you are able to try that. Remember the BHF Nurses can be contacted on 0300 330 3311 - I really think it may help if you ring them it's what they are there for. Suicidal thoughts can be very scary but you know they will pass and you won't always feel like that. The Samaratans are also amazing at supporting and listening to you there is no pressure from them - there number is 116 123. Please keep in contact with us - we care about you, I know it's from a distance but remind yourself of that. Big hug to you.

I forgot to say it is a good idea to discuss anti depressants with your GP be honest about bad you feel at the moment. Anti depressants are no wonder drug as you probably know but I do feel they may have a short / medium term role in helping you cope etc

Morning Genteel, firstly let me say I am sorry to hear of your low mood at the moment and can fully understand what your going through as I have been there myself. I would definitely go down the route of anti depressants if your feeling that low that's what I did back in July 2018 and finding myself in a black hole mentally for 5 months after having a 2nd H/A back in February 2018. They have certainly turned my life around and I wish I had went on them sooner but that's the thing with depression you don't know that you are depressed until you hit rock bottom for a lot of people. One piece of advice I would like to give you is to take back control of your mind and don't let it control you??? You can read my story on hear about my journey and what I have been through since my first H/A way back in 2006 and feel free to ask any questions at anytime.

Kristin1812
Kristin1812Heart Star

Sorry, forgot to say I have had anti depressants after a series of heart problems, and found them very helpful. Took the edge off! You don’t stay on them forever, but need to give them a fair chance. I was taking them for just over a year in the end, longer than I’d expected. But felt fine when I came off.

My husband took anti depressants as he felt life was no longer worth living, as he couldn’t get out the house on his own (he ended up with Lance Adams Syndrome after his CA) and couldn’t go back to work, play golf etc. He is no longer on the depressants and still has the odd black day but on the whole is good. We try to go out for a walk everyday and he keeps active in the house. It really is a matter of not letting the “blackness” take control. Talk to your GP about anti depressants.

Milkfairy
MilkfairyHeart Star

I am sorry you are feeling the way you are at the moment.

As others have said do go and talk to your GP. There is no right or wrong way , it is a process of finding the stratergies that help you best be that antidepressants, counselling, exercise, support groups, mindfulness and Cognitive behavioural therapy.

You may find this article from the BHF Heart Matters interesting.

bhf.org.uk/informationsuppo...

Hi, I'm sorry to hear you're feeling so rubbish. I am 7 months on from stents and my mood has been going downhill. Just after Christmas I realised that I just couldn't cope anymore so started anti-depressants. I'm 5 days in and I feel like a different person - certainly wasn't expecting them to kick in so quickly. I was weeping everyday and I realised yesterday I haven't been crying and life just seems a bit more manageable. I'd been resisting going on them for ages and have been trying to deal with my feelings via counselling, but I think I've made the right choice. It's not a weakness - we all need a helping hand sometimes. I don't want to offer you advice, but your story resonated strongly with me. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do x

Genteel. I have been thinking about your post since yesterday and though you have had replies feel I'd like to add something. Firstly, the heart is the 'seat of emotions' which is why we use words like heart broken, heart jumps for joy, heartache not physical things but emotional ones so when we are told our heart is failing we are not just aware of a pump not working but something far deeper. But also it's usually described as chronic, something you have to live with for the rest of your life which is different to heart attack which can have varied outcomes. I have fought a stroke, shingles, knee replacements and come back to normal but I'm struggling with heart failure. I do take a very small dose of antidepressant just to take the edge off. I've decreased the dose but feel I need it at the moment. But this is the toughest thing I've had to deal with ever! I'm learning every day and keeping an open mind. This forum keeps me trying to move forward. I hope you do get the right help at the right time.

My son took them and they saved his life. Trouble is they take a while to start working. Despite being breathless get outside as much as you can. These dark days and nights really affect depression. Talk it over with your doctor.

I have felt same as you ,but I had depression before H.A.on and off for years .At present I am on Fluoxetine,and it seems to have done the trick .This one suits me at the moment (it can change and become ineffective) as this one gives a bit more energy than some of the others,-which can make you sleepy which you don't need if you are on usual heart cocktail of drugs.You must talk to your doctor about this ,don't ignore it .I wish you the best of luck and brighter days in the future.x

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