Depression

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What It Is
How It Happens
What To Do About It

Most people with advanced congestive heart failure are depressed.

That probably doesn’t come as a big surprise. They can barely leave the house. They feel run down all the time. They take 15 pills every day. And, whatever they do, they’ll probably die in a few of years.

On top of that, many people who have CHF have been depressed their whole lives. Think about it: They cared so little about themselves that they smoked, ate and drank until they got heart failure.

And now that they have heart failure, they haven’t slowed down a bit with the self-destructive behaviors—in fact, they’ve probably added not taking their medicine to their “self-destruction to-do list.”

It can be hard not to get mad at a person like that—especially if you’re in charge of keeping them alive. We mean….really?

But think about this—there’s probably nothing you can do about it.

You can’t change their behavior. You may think they can help you by doing things better—but that doesn’t mean they will—and it certainly doesn’t mean there’s anything you can do to make them. So why not focus on all the good you’re doing for them—and leave it at that.
Give yourself credit. Go ahead. You’re a blessing. When you get mad at them for not taking care of yourself, think of how much good you’re doing. And help yourself. That’s something you can control. Do something nice for yourself every day—Take a walk if you can. Eat a favorite food. Call a friend on the phone. And it’s not unusual for caregivers to be depressed. (That probably doesn’t come as a surprise either.) If you’re feeling depressed, let your own doctor know. He or she might be able to help. And be sure to mention to the doctor that you’re worried that your patient is depressed. Getting them some medication might make both of your lives easier.

What It Is

Most people with advanced congestive heart failure are depressed.

That probably doesn’t come as a big surprise. They can barely leave the house. They feel run down all the time. They take 15 pills every day. And, whatever they do, they’ll probably die in a few of years.

On top of that, many people who have CHF have been depressed their whole lives. Think about it: They cared so little about themselves that they smoked, ate and drank until they got heart failure.

And now that they have heart failure, they haven’t slowed down a bit with the self-destructive behaviors—in fact, they’ve probably added not taking their medicine to their “self-destruction to-do list.”

It can be hard not to get mad at a person like that—especially if you’re in charge of keeping them alive. We mean….really?

But think about this—there’s probably nothing you can do about it.

How It Happens

You can’t change their behavior. You may think they can help you by doing things better—but that doesn’t mean they will—and it certainly doesn’t mean there’s anything you can do to make them. So why not focus on all the good you’re doing for them—and leave it at that.

What To Do About It

Give yourself credit. Go ahead. You’re a blessing. When you get mad at them for not taking care of yourself, think of how much good you’re doing. And help yourself. That’s something you can control. Do something nice for yourself every day—Take a walk if you can. Eat a favorite food. Call a friend on the phone. And it’s not unusual for caregivers to be depressed. (That probably doesn’t come as a surprise either.) If you’re feeling depressed, let your own doctor know. He or she might be able to help. And be sure to mention to the doctor that you’re worried that your patient is depressed. Getting them some medication might make both of your lives easier.

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QUIZ-A-RAMA

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