Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You may feel frustrated, upset or overwhelmed upon learning you or your loved one has heart disease. Fortunately, there are ways to help cope with heart disease or improve your condition. These include:

  • Cardiac rehabilitation. For people who have cardiovascular disease that's caused a heart attack or has required surgery to correct, cardiac rehabilitation is often recommended as a way to improve treatment and speed recovery. Cardiac rehabilitation is a program often divided into phases that involve various levels of monitored exercise, nutritional counseling, emotional support, and support and education about lifestyle changes to reduce your risks of heart problems.
  • Support groups. Finding out that you or a loved one has heart disease can be unnerving. Turning to friends and family for support is essential, but if you find you need more help, talk to your doctor about joining a support group. You may find that talking about your concerns with others who are experiencing the same difficulties can help.
  • Continued medical checkups. If you have a recurring or chronic heart condition, it's a good idea to regularly check in with your doctor to make sure you're properly managing your heart condition. Regular checkups can help your doctor decide if you need to change your treatment, and may help catch new problems early, if they occur. If you're the parent of a child with heart disease, it's a good idea to encourage your child to regularly visit his or her doctor to monitor a heart condition in adulthood.
Jan. 16, 2013