If you’re Newly Diagnosed with HCM or have been living with symptoms for a long time, you may sometimes struggle with the emotional aspects of this condition. The HCMA is here to help you! Here are some of the resources we have available:
Twice a month, we offer Emotional Support Discussion Groups via Zoom. These sessions are a great place to learn coping skills, talk about your feelings, and meet your peers so you know you aren’t alone! You can also find Zoom groups on our calendar for other topics in HCM that may help you feel better.
From our Big Hearted Warriors Unite Tour, during the 3/10/22 session with Ascension St. Thomas Heart, there is a video segment by Dr. Ronald Salomon titled “Coping with HCM – Building Resilience.” Dr. Salomon is a psychiatrist working within the HCM Center of Excellence, which gives him a unique understanding of the challenges of those living with HCM. This segment starts around 1 hour 26 minutes into the video.
If you aren’t already a member of our Facebook private group, consider joining! Simply request to join the group and answer the 4 questions. Only those with HCM or close family members are allowed to join, so you can get the perspective of others living with HCM and be supported by your peers.
If you need more emotional health care, don’t be embarrassed to talk to a therapist. It isn’t a weakness that you need a specialist to care for your heart, and it isn’t weak to find a specialist to care for your mind! Ask your medical care team if they can recommend a mental health therapist specializing in HCM or chronic illness. You may need to research if they don’t know one in your area. You may also need to try several therapists to find one that clicks with you – that will make a difference in how much they can help you!
As a patient advocate, I believe that treating the whole person is essential, which means your mind, emotional state, and physical symptoms. One example is how you can increase an arrhythmia by becoming anxious when it happens. Of course, it’s natural to be anxious when your heart does something unusual, but through mindfulness, relaxation, and other coping techniques, you can avoid making yourself feel worse. You can balance your emotional state by educating yourself about when the feelings in your body are important signals to pay attention to and call your doctor about and when those feelings are things you can safely ignore. The HCMA can help you become educated in general, and talking with your medical team can help you become educated about your individual condition.