Telling family and friends

A mother and her three adolescent children are outdoors looking at information on her mobile phone.

How much you tell people, how specific or detailed you are, is very much up to you – you are in control and can tell them as much or as little as you want.

Whatever you say, you’re likely to get many different reactions from people when you tell them about your heart condition.

Some people may be curious and some may be caring or even over-protective. Othersmay not realise the severity of your condition or the impact it’s had on you and dismiss it.

Changing relationships

Dealing with these different reactions can be difficult. Depending on your condition, your relationships with your family and friends may change – whether temporarily or permanently.

Making your health a priority

It's important to remember that you are the one with the heart condition and your needs come first. Listen to your body and your emotions, and do only what you’re comfortable with.

If people push you to do too much or try and stop you from doing things you know you can, it may because they're worried. It’s important to keep your needs first and foremost in your mind.

When over-protectiveness goes too far

It’s natural for people who care about you to be protective. But it can be challenging if you’re the one who ends up reassuring others that you can do certain things - especially when you're in need of reassurance and comfort yourself.

One of the best approaches is to tell people that getting out and about is one way you're trying to keep active and well, and that it helps you keep stress and anxiety at bay. Assure them that you know your limits and will be sure to tell them if things get to be too much.

When people don't seem to understand

It’s not always easy for people to fully understand how much of an impact your heart condition is having. If you’ve had a heart attack, for example, the shock can be profound. You may be re-evaluating your whole life, while the people you know just think you 'had a scare' and were in and out of hospital in no time.

In this kind of situation, it's even more important to put yourself first and find people who can support you at this difficult time - whether that's through friends and family, here in our online forums, or elsewhere.

Help and information

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