by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters ♥ March 25, 2018
A Heart Sisters article that I first ran here five years ago is called “When Are Cardiologists Going to Start Talking About Depression?“
As you can imagine, it’s a serious subject. And it’s an important subject, given how common – yet pervasively overlooked – the situational depression associated with heart disease is. A freshly-diagnosed heart patient who becomes depressed is not only miserable, but this is a person who’s significantly less likely to take meds, exercise, eat heart-healthy foods, quit smoking, follow medical instructions – and is generally at significant risk for poor cardiac outcomes.
Dozens of my readers shared their moving and vulnerable stories about their experiences in response to this post. For example, this comment from a reader named Christie, sent to me nine days after her husband survived a heart attack: Continue reading “Just shut up and listen!” →
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters
Regular readers already know how in love I am with the “Just a Little Heart Attack” film from the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women heart health campaign this year. In three short minutes, this film manages to do what countless other heart disease awareness campaigns I’ve seen fail to pull off: to be both hilarious and frightening, packed with life-saving education on common heart attack symptoms in women. The actress Elizabeth Banks – who also directed this short film, and whose real-life mother and sister have heart issues – plays a harried, multi-tasking mother trying desperately to get her family up, dressed, fed and ready to head out the door on time, all while completely ignoring her own worsening heart attack symptoms.
Elizabeth gets every small detail of this scenario pitch-perfect, including:
- her “I’m fine!” reassurances as she reels with nausea, chest pressure, dizziness, jaw pain, neck pain, arm pain, weakness and profuse sweating
- her apology to the 911 phone dispatcher for being a bother
- and (my favourite scene!) her abject dismay at surveying the messy kitchen, knowing the ambulance is already en route and she won’t have time to tidy up before it arrives!
Women who have actually lived through this will probably recognize every excruciatingly familiar moment of what it’s like to experience a heart attack.
But noted health journalism watchdog Gary Schwitzer over at Health News Review felt otherwise about this film, which he criticized in a post called Disease-Mongering Du Jour: Heart Disease in Young Women. Continue reading “The concept of ‘mansplaining’ explained for you . . .” →