After a heart attack (part 1)
From the attitude of a person who has had a myocardial infarction, to his condition, to medical recommendations, his further fate sometimes depends: whether he will return to a full-blooded life, overcome the disease or reconcile with it, turn into a disabled person. It is no coincidence, according to statistics, it is psychological factors that are the main reason that prevents the return to work of every second patient who has had a heart attack.
This disease, occurring most often suddenly, incapacitates a person, breaks his life plans. Patients react differently to what happened. According to our observations, approximately two-thirds of patients are reasonable, without panic, about what happened; perform doctor’s appointments, actively fight the disease and its consequences. However, a third of patients react differently. Some experience constant fear, although danger has already passed. Others give up, lose all hope of recovery. Still others go into the disease in such a way that all their interests are concentrated on it, they don’t think or talk about anything else, while doctors assess their condition as completely satisfactory and believe that there is no reason for pessimism.
Fear, depression, excitement not only aggravate the suffering of a patient with myocardial infarction, but also significantly complicate the treatment and rehabilitation. Moreover, strong negative emotions lead to adverse changes in the neuroendocrine system of the body, which, in turn, aggravates cardiac disorders.
Why does the formation of this or that reaction of the patient in response to what happened to him myocardial infarction? First of all, from the characteristics of personality, character. People with a strong, strong-willed character, a harmonious disposition of personality, accustomed to actively overcome life difficulties, having suffered a heart attack, strive to restore their health by all means. And those who before the illness were distinguished by increased vulnerability, suspiciousness, who had neurotic breakdowns in difficult situations before, react to a heart attack in a panic, go into the disease.
A significant role in the formation of the psychological setting of the patient is played by information coming to him in different ways about the nature of the disease, its possible consequences. Of course, the main source of such information is the attending physician, who is trying to mentally support the patient, instill confidence in him in a favorable outcome of treatment. And it’s good when the patient’s family members agree with him. But it happens that the patient takes a reasonable attitude to what happened, and the wife experiences anxiety and fear, “infects” this husband, visiting him in the hospital, and the person develops a neurotic reaction to the disease with all the ensuing consequences.
Particularly difficult psychologically, the period for the patient himself and for loved ones is the first weeks after his return home. Having lost round-the-clock medical supervision, which is no longer required at this stage, a person sometimes begins to again feel fear, is afraid to move, walk, do physical work, even to the extent recommended by the doctor. During this period, the psychological support of loved ones is very important.
There is one more important problem – intimate marital relations. Numerous observations by doctors have shown that in the vast majority of cases, myocardial infarction is by no means an obstacle to their recovery. However, the patient himself, and often his wife, is afraid, afraid that whatever happens to the heart during intimacy. And such a mood. not conducive to patient return. to a normal, active life.
To prevent the development of neurotic reactions, doctors from the first days of the patient’s admission to the hospital conduct explanatory conversations with him and his relatives. The main goal of such discussions is to strengthen the patient’s self-confidence, to restore his previous position in the family, in the workplace. If necessary, he is prescribed special medications to eliminate anxiety, fear, insomnia, depression, and are taught techniques for autogenic training.
A huge role in psychological rehabilitation is given to family members, the closest relatives of the patient. But, unfortunately, they don’t have a good idea of how to help the patient, they often render him a bad service and make rehabilitation difficult. Judge for yourself: the doctor, writing the patient home, recommends him a certain physical activity, and the wife seeks to reduce it in every possible way.
The patient needs to limit fat intake, and the wife. wanting to “strengthen the health” of her husband after a heart attack, on the contrary, he adds butter wherever possible to increase the calorie content of food. The list of these examples could be continued.