Heart Patients Need Lifetime Mental Health Care: Study
On 14th July, AHA journal published a journal on circulation, cardiovascular quality, and outcomes. It states that the people born with congenital heart defects face lots more psychological illness due to the inability to lead their lifestyle as other normal people do and it suggests lifetime care for congenital heart defects. Congenital heart disease denotes the condition of birth defect on heart development. It has been found that approximately 2.4 million people in America have the condition CHD. Even though many CHDs reach adulthood, they may be exposed to a lot of surgical treatments and distinctive care during their life period.
A clinical psychologist who is specialized in working with CHD people said in a news release- “It is thoroughly understandable to have a psychological reaction to living with congenital heart disease. Though they may develop high resilience in the face of challenges, it is our responsibility to normalize psychological output and should offer proper care for mental health to qualitatively enhance CHD people throughout their lifetime. It is evident that children diagnosed with CHD are five times more likely to have an anxiety disorder than others.
In the entire population, most adults have been diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorder. This statement clearly shows that only a few children had undergone treatment for their mental well-being. It indicates the developmental impact of the condition of CHD on mental health. During infancy and childhood, as they have to take lots of concern about their physical health, they may fail to experience the play stage and school environment. This might have an impact on their psychological well-being in the aspect of distress, chronic depression, anxiety and mood disorders, etc.
Basically, our childhood experiences reflect in our days of adulthood. So the people with less care for their mental health experience adverse effects during their adult life. As CHD continues into adulthood, they may be exposed to severe medical issues, surgeries, less productivity, improper education, and the inability to become pregnant. These reflect financial problems, family issues, and problems with insurance. This makes adulthood life difficult to lead and may result in suicidal thoughts and behavior.
The psychologist said, “Decades of research describes the psychological and social stressors and challenges that can be present across the life span of people with CHD" and added "It’s long overdue that we move beyond awareness to action and provide more resources and expert mental health care for people living with CHD. His words reveal that there are plenty of psychological assessments available for CHD people to assess their mental health and by using such tools, their mental wellbeing can be enhanced and therapies can be used to reduce mental distress. It can be treated by offering relaxation techniques, exposure techniques to decrease fear, desensitization procedures, heart-safe medication therapy for anxiety, etc.
Finally, “we would like mental health assessment and support to be part of comprehensive care for all people with CHD rather than a special service that is offered only in some places or special circumstances,” Kovac said. Another two types of research also support this study in the following manner - A march 2022 Study declares that proper care should be given to CHD people in the transition period from childhood to adult life. An April 2022 statement delivered the psychosocial factors involved in CHD people’s mental well-being over the developmental periods.