Post Heart Attack

I have not used this or any other chat forum before but had a heart attack 7 weeks ago-still can't quite believe it happened as it did not seem like one might imagine it!

Anyway I can see how valuable this forum is and wanted to share a few stories and also check out whether anyone else has similar queries.

My first query is whether anyone else was taking meds for depression prior to cardiac event and if you continued to take tablets? I stopped straight away as I took view cardiac meds were priority but am beginning to experience fairly severe symptoms of depression. Look forward to connecting with others.

19 Replies

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  • Hi, I've been taking nit depressants for a long time before I had my heart attack. My doctor and my consultant told me that I wS a person who needed to take anti depressants forever. I kept taking these tablets as well as my heart medication. Sometimes I am full of energy and sometimes I have to take things easy. LI had my heart attack nearly 3 years ago aged 59. It was a surprise to everyone including me.. I had taken early retirement at 56 from teaching. I ate well,didn't smoke,had the occasional drink. Wasn't over weight,played badminton,Pilates,took the dog for a walk,not over weight....I had a good diet, why did I gave a heart attack...nobody really knows...

  • Hi

    I'm kind of like you, it's hard isn't it at we have this view of HA sufferers.

    I was 46 last July when I had cardiac arrest out cycling. I too have always led active & healthy lifestyle. In fact I was in very fit category often cycling 150-200 miles per week! I always ate healthily & never smoked.

    Doctors have no real answer other than cardiologist saying it was a plaque ruptured.

    I get anxious, they tell me aches & pains are not heart but there again I went to see GP twice week before with heart burn like sensations. As I was fit & healthy they dismissed me & said was acid reflux. So how can I trust them!

  • Understand how you are thinking and feeling. Answers seem difficult to get in many areas with these situations. Do you still do the cycling as your previous schedule sounds impressive-I found exercise to be a life saver before the HA but I am also left wondering if I overdid it at age of 57 (turned 58 week of HA!).

  • I had been on citalapran for 20 years when I had h/a in October 2016 had stent inserted but ecg showed long qt and citalaopran stopped immediately. Came home with all the usual medications for heart condition. I had a loop device fitted in February to monitor what was going on. Ecg`s since December are not recording any long qt. In the meantime and since January all my old symptoms 're: panic attacks palpitations ect., have returned. Most anti depressants seem to be a no,no for anyone with history of long qt and until they determine whether my long qt is due to a combination of genetics and drugs, I guess I am stuck with this awful drowning feeling. I think you should check your symptoms out with the Doctor because there are anti depressants that you can take with your heart medication, depression is so debilitating and stressful and if you can have some help then I think you should find out. Hope you get some help soon.

  • Having survived cardiac arrest myself I have a bit of experience with some of the things you may be going through. While you're figuring out the medication part of things for depression, here are few things you can do that hopefully improves your mood (do the ones that appeal to you) - 1. go for a walk 2. do light yard work 3. Do breathing exercises - inhale to count of 4 and exhale to the count of 8 4. Color 5. Lie on the floor 6. count to 10 as fast as possible repetitively 7. repeat the alphabet backwards. When you start feeling better move to watching comedies, laugh, listen to upbeat music, get a massage, use non-dominant hand to do things, learn something new. When you get to this point and want to feel even better, let me know I've got more things you can do to feel even better. Basically what the first set of activities do is top move your brain chemistry from functioning on norepinephrine to serotonin. The second set of exercises helps move your brain chemistry from functioning on serotonin to dopamine. Not only does this help your mood but helps your overall body functions. Best wishes in your progress.

  • Thanks sca 2013. Awareness about my mood and how it impacts upon me day to day seems to be heightened since the heart attack. Your suggestions are helpful and I will give them a go. What is different in my life today seems to be a new perspective on everything and with that also comes some regret (no lots of it because there are many things that I wish I had done differently in the past).

  • Yep, I hear you about all of that. We got wiser later, but wish that would have come before having to go through this experience for sure. I look at it this way - Given what I knew at the time of all prior events and circumstances I did the very best I could at that time. If I'd have known what I know now, I would have definitely done things differently, but I didn't know all this stuff back when other things happened in the past. So I have to give myself a break about all of that. I wish I had done more with my family, taken more time off, had more fun, instead of being such a ridiculous workaholic.

  • Appreciated sca 2013. I am assuming that you have put your stepped approach to improve mood and brain chemistry into practice .....how long did you use level 1 for before moving to 2 and do you still use elements of both according to how you feel?

  • First, sorry for the long post that follow. Yes, I have been using them for a little over two weeks. In looking at my notes I should have called them List A and List B. And I started doing things on List B as soon as I felt I could. Many times that has been within the same hour. This actually comes from a model that also has a List C (has things like creative writing, Art, random dancing, intuitive walking, creating random patterns, random exercise and List D is What one thing can I do today to feel more alive? (toward my next milestone). This is made clear using a reverse goal setting exercise. Anyway the whole idea is List C gets you moving from running on Dopamine to functioning from the Brain core. List D gets you creating from the brain core. All this being said, I only found out about this about three weeks ago. Ideally once you get up and running from List C you do one thing from List C and one from List D each day. That's it. I am attending a Brain Chemical Discussion group to learn more about this tonight and see what other resources are available to more fully understand how all of this works. All I know is in my other discussions about this it answered the question as to why I had my cardiac arrest experience as well as racing heart and wildly fluctuating blood pressure at times. Basically it all boils down to when I am running on norepinephrine all the bad crap happens. Since I've been using these simple techniques I feel better (mood included) and certainly more in control and have not experienced anymore of the, as I call it, "bad crap". If you want to know more (once I find out More), let me know and I'll keep you up to date.

    Also as I understand it, once you're doing these exercises you reach a point where your system pretty much stays functioning from the brain core automatically and if something knocks you out of it you know how to get back to functioning from the brain core by doing the lists.

  • Hi there

    I still take mine. No point in being depressed AND trying to deal with heart problems.

    Don't stop yours Jo

  • Positive advice Jo thanks. I think that my main concern was and is the type of anti-depressant and what impact it will have on my heart problems. Am having a review today so will ask for this advice.

  • I'm on an SSRI called Paroxetine (Seroxat). It's got a bad reputation but works for me. I'm on them for life but I'm happy!

    Let me know how you get on at your review.

  • I had my review today and it went well thanks Jo.

    I was honest about how I have been feeling. This has been troubling me a lot and I had not anticipated the psychological impact that this type of health problem can present with. I am grateful for this forum and to those who share their personal stories, encouragement and tips.

    It is very lonely coming through this type of experience and it puts a new perspective on many of the things that left me depressed in the past.

    I have found it very difficult to get an appointment with my GP since my heart attack but with help of cardio nurse got one. I have been prescribed citalopram 10mg daily (SSRI). I will let you know how I get on.

  • Hi, like you, I had my h/a 7 weeks ago. For me, out of the blue. I don't suffer from depression or anxiety, and therefore not on any meds. However after the h/a, there have been occasions where I have felt slightly anxious. I think this is fairly normal as you, like the rest of us, have been through a massive trauma. The best advice is to chat it through with your GP. But I bet there is no harm in taking meds that you were already on. They would have discussed that with you in the hospital. Good luck.

  • I also am a med-chat "firster" .... !! Did your doctor stop the anti-depressants ??? My HA seemed to have been brought about by extreme personal stress, not overtly obvious ... so psychological health is also paramount ... but let your medics sort out the meds-interactions & decide on your treatment to take care of both of your health problems !!

  • I stopped my previous tablets after brief chat with ward consultant (not cardio consultant) on my first morning in hospital. Since then I have wanted to stay off anti-depressants but it is difficult being able to make an informed decision. From what I can see there is a shortage of research on this issue which would seem to me to be imperative given the emotional problems that often go hand in hand with this area of healthcare.

  • I took depressants five months after the event as I was down ,it's now been five months I have also been given counciling

  • Thanks What10, what medication did you get prescribed and has it helped? It is a surprise to discover the emotional issues that this brings up.

  • Sertraline 50 mg each night ,indeed it helps I didn't realise how down I was ,I feel so much more positive now as I said I have also recived counciling 6 one hour sessions ,you can self refer for these or get a GPs recommendation

    Hope this helps

    Regards,

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