Home » Resources » Wellbeing Resources and Support » SilverCloud » Coronary heart disease (CHD) emotional impact

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of cardiovascular disease, with approximately 2.3 million people currently living with CHD in the UK. It occurs when the coronary arteries, which supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart, start to narrow due to a build-up of fatty substances called plaque.

If your arteries become too narrow, you may experience angina: Angina is an uncomfortable tightness or pain in your chest, which may make it difficult to engage in your normal daily activities.

If your arteries become completely blocked, you may experience a heart attack: Symptoms of a heart attack include crushing pressure in your chest and pain in your shoulder or arm, sometimes with shortness of breath and sweating.

Although coronary heart disease cannot be cured, it can be managed to reduce the risk of further difficulties.

It is estimated that people with CHD and other long-term conditions are more likely to experience low mood and excessive worries than the general population. This may be due to the daily challenge of coping with a chronic condition.

For example, a diagnosis of CHD can often result in the experience of a strong sense of loss. Daily activities (including work, volunteering, housework, etc.) may need to be limited or dropped, at least temporarily, which can lead to an upset in life roles and sense of self. This can contribute to feelings of low mood and worry.

It is natural that to feel concerned about your health and experience strong emotions such as anger, frustration, sadness, fear and hopelessness. However, when excessive stress, low mood and worrying continue in the long-term, they can become problematic. 

Living with anxiety and depression can have a serious impact on your wellbeing and motivation, and get in the way of managing your condition. For example, the fear of another heart attack may lead to the ceasing of any physical activity that causes discomfort, such as a raised heart rate. The decrease in exercise will however, make the likelihood of another heart attack happening even stronger.

This is why it is so important to treat psychological, as well as physical, symptoms when living with CHD.

We have partnered with Sivercloud to offer you free access to a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) self-help programme, designed by clinical experts using proven methods for helping people, all with the aim of empowering you to think and feel better.

This programme is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

CBT consists of two key steps to feeling well:

  1. Understanding what’s going on inside you
  2. Making changes to feel better

The key idea behind CBT is that your emotions, thoughts, behaviours and physical sensations are connected, and affect each other.

To find out more and to get your FREE access code start a chat now with a Wellbeing Advisor or call 0800 953 9898.

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