Coping with Heart Failure

Two women talking outdoors.It’s normal to feel sad or down at times when you’re living with heart failure. Some medicines can also affect your mood. Following your treatment plan may seem difficult at times. If you feel overwhelmed, just focus on one day at a time. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help when you need it.

Ways to feel better

Try not to withdraw from family and friends, even if you are finding it hard to talk to them. They can still be a good source of support. To feel better, you can also:

  • Spend time doing things you enjoy. This may include participating in a favorite hobby, meditating, praying, or spending time with people you care about. Find activities that make you happy and make those a priority.

  • Share what you learn about heart failure with the people in your life. Invite family members along when you visit your healthcare provider. This will help you feel supported as well as help you discuss the care plan you've agreed upon with your doctor.

  • Think about joining a support group for people with heart failure. It may be easier to talk to people who know firsthand what you’re going through. They can offer advice and share stories. You may want to ask loved ones to join you for a meeting.

Asking for help

Having heart failure doesn’t mean that you have to feel bad all the time. Consider talking to your healthcare provider or a therapist if:

  • You feel worthless or helpless, or are thinking about suicide. These are warning signs of depression. Treatment can help you feel better. When depression is under control, your overall health may also improve.

  • You feel anxious about what will happen to your loved ones if your health gets worse. Taking care of legal arrangements, such as a living will and durable power of attorney, can help you feel more secure about the future.

  • Social support helps alleviate stress and helps your stick with your healthy lifestyle changes. Without social support, you may end up back in the hospital.