Tag Archives: mental illness

“I’m the least depressed person on earth, except when I’m depressed”

17 Mar

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

When I learned that Dr. Sherwin Nuland was going to be doing a guest lecture at the University of Victoria here back in 2012, I was among the first in town to book tickets. I loved his book called How We Die (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize) ever since I’d featured his chapter on death and heart disease three years earlier here.

His sold-out UVic audience was enthralled by his engaging manner and compelling excerpts read from his newest book called The Art of Aging: A Doctor’s Prescription for Well-Being.

But I was even more intrigued by this famous surgeon/Yale University professor’s personal stories of his own experience living with debilitating depression – a depression so crippling, so impossible to shift, that in his 40s his doctors were considering doing a pre-frontal lobotomy.   Continue reading

Handling the homecoming blues: the third stage of heart attack recovery

26 May

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Today we look at the third stage of The Four Stages of Heart Illness from Dr. Wayne Sotile’s excellent book called Thriving With Heart Disease, a must-read for all heart attack survivors and those who love them. Dr. Sotile, a cardiac psychologist, describes the heart patient’s journey through a series of “separate, identifiable stages”.  He believes that your recovery will have fewer surprises if you are familiar with these four stages and know what to expect.*

      

Stage 3:  Handling the homecoming blues: You’re suddenly on your own, reality sets in, and the whole team must adapt to its new normal.

You’re now home from the hospital, and you’re expected to surf a bewildering wave of emotions, anxieties and procedures. No longer are nurses and doctors checking, monitoring and calming you.  Now you have to decide what you can and cannot do, and you may feel under-qualified for the job.

What used to be simple is suddenly unbearably complex.  Making the bed, a doctor’s appointment or even a tuna sandwich can overwhelm you and bring you to tears. You feel childish and emotional and terribly alone – no matter how many people surround you at home.   Continue reading

Depressing news about depression and women’s heart disease

3 Jul

.by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

Women suffering from depression have higher risks of developing heart disease, and women with heart disease have higher risks of becoming depressed. I find this reality a bit depressing…

I was stunned to find myself in that latter group within weeks of my own heart attack. With no personal experience of depression, I knew something was terribly wrong with me, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what that might be. I had just survived a massive heart attack – shouldn’t I be feeling fabulous and grateful?  Continue reading