Experiencing PTSD

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For some patients, having an ICD implant, or even receiving therapy associated with the device may be experienced as trauma.

When the device is triggered, the effect on some people can be jarring. Some get used to it, and others find coping difficult. However there are some things that you can do to minimize a fearful response.

  • Create a “safety plan” that helps you feel more secure. Make sure you are thoroughly familiar with the clinics directions on what to do after the ICD has fired. Make sure your phone is charges and in reach, and your loved ones know where you are.
  • Don’t depend on things which may trigger anxiety. You may have behaviors you have adopted which you use to give you a sense of self control, but in reality they just add to the stress. These would include: constantly checking heart rate, rarely going outside, avoiding any activity, and over-reliance on others.
  • Focus on the things you can control. Work on your top three items. Take your medications as prescribed, being attentive to proper diet and sleep. Be sure to get regular checkups and the device checked following your teams instructions.

For additional insight into this important factor, visit these online resources:

AHA Journal – Dr Sam Sears and Jessica Ford

American Heart Assn – Go Red for Women


Lastly, having a stable home and family structure helps to keep stress and worrying to a minimum.