How will steps2change help me with cardiac illness?
Our team of experienced and qualified professionals will work with you to help you understand your mood problems and show you a new way of coping. Our therapists have had specialist training to work with people with long term health conditions. This means they are able to help you with a range of problems that are common. For example low mood, worries, stress, and difficulty coping.
Working on these problems can help you improve your wellbeing and quality of life. You will get the chance to talk about your difficulties in a confidential and non-judgemental environment. You will then receive a tailored treatment package to help.
Cardiac illness and depression
Depression is a commonly experienced mood problem in people diagnosed with cardiac problems. It is characterised by low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.
Depression can have a serious impact on your wellbeing and ability to self-manage your symptoms.
Cardiac illness and anxiety
It is normal to experience increased anxiety after an unexpected traumatic event, such as a heart attack, or being diagnosed with heart failure. Learning to manage your cardiac illness requires changes to your lifestyle and investment in self-care activities. This can lead to an increase in uncertainty in your day which can result in you feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
People commonly express concern about the effects of having a cardiac illness. For some people this leads to excessive anxiety that might interfere with how you look after yourself.
Cardiac illness and stress
Being diagnosed with a cardiac illness can be stressful in itself, so learning to manage stress is important. For some people with coronary heart disease, extreme stress can trigger symptoms. This doesn’t mean you should try to avoid all stressful situations. Avoiding them could mean you don’t learn how to cope with the stress you can’t avoid. Learning how to distinguish between cardiac and non-cardiac symptoms can be empowering and ensures you do not miss out on activities you enjoy.
How to get help
Our team work alongside specialist cardiac colleagues across the county. We do this so we can talk to them to understand your condition and so you can access services in the same place. If you would like to see us, discuss our service with your cardiac rehabilitation or heart failure specialist practitioner. They can arrange an assessment appointment for you.
What happens next?
You will be offered an initial assessment at the cardiac clinic or over the phone with a trained clinician. You will be asked questions about how you are feeling, behaving and thinking to find the best way to help you. Everyone is different. We will work together to decide the most appropriate treatment.
What help do steps2change offer?
We will work closely with your specialist physical healthcare clinicians to make sure what we do compliments your cardiac illness treatment. Following assessment, most people will initially be offered a CBT based guided self-help. This can be in the form of courses, computerised CBT, telephone sessions or face-to-face.
If after following this course of therapy further treatment is indicated, we can then offer you this in the form of:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
- EMDR –Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing therapy
We can also offer support via our Employment Advisor Service, for people who are having difficulties at work due to common mental health conditions.