The Cardiac Blues are a normal part of recovery from a heart attack, heart surgery or heart event. How long should they go on for though? When and how should you seek help?
Around 75% of people experience the ‘Cardiac Blues’ after a heart event.
Experiencing a heart attack, heart event or heart surgery generally leaves you with a feeling of shock with unexpected changes in mood and emotions such as:
- sadness and tearfulness
- anger and irritability
- worry and anxiety
- confusion and forgetfulness
- withdrawal from friends and family
- loss of interest in life and more.
Although you may feel you will never get back to normal, these feelings are common and a normal part of recovering from a heart event, especially in the first few weeks or months.
How long will this last for?
For most people, the cardiac blues resolve in the first few weeks or months after the heart event and your mood will gradually improve.
While the Cardiac Blues are challenging, they will not affect your recovery overall.
When do you need to seek professional help?
If your mood is not improving, or is getting worse during the months after your heart event you may need to seek professional help.
Around 1 in 3 people develop serious anxiety and 1 in 5 develop depression after a heart event.
You are at increased risk of developing serious anxiety or depression if you have had anxiety or depression in the past prior to your heart event or have other risk factors such as:
- being isolated
- stressed about work or finances
- recently bereaved
- recently divorced/separated
- have other health problems
How to get psychological help?
The Australian Centre for Heart Health offers psychological help through their Cardiac Counselling Clinic and other services through their Cardiac Wellbeing program.
You can also talk to your GP about your emotional recovery or to request a referral to the Australian Centre for Heart Health Cardiac Counselling Clinic.
To view Cardiac Blues more resources from the Australian Centre for Heart Health for patients and health professionals click here.
Connect with others who have been affected by heart disease
Join the Heart Research Australia Heart Health Club to connect with others who have been affected by heart disease and more.
- Join our quarterly webinars with experts
- Join our private Facebook group to chat with others
- Receive heart healthy content, tips and advice from Cardiologists
- Latest research from our Researchers
You are never alone.
It’s important to note that just because something isn’t stressful for someone else doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be stressful for you. It is ALWAYS OK to ask for help and if something isn’t feeling right get in touch with your GP or click here to find a Psychologist near you.
If this has brought up anything for you, you have questions or need someone to talk to please contact lifeline or call 13 11 14. They also have a 24hr help line. Help is always available and no one ever needs to face their problems alone. Below are some additional phone numbers for available help if needed.
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Confidential Helpline: 1800 737 732
Mensline: 1300 78 99 78
Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
A huge thank you to the Australian Centre for Heart Health for allowing us to share this vital information.