Survivorship in ICD Patients

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Survivorship in ICD Patients

Post by freckles1880 » March 8th, 2017, 6:59 pm

Survivorship in ICD Patients

By Samuel F. Sears, Ph.D.
Professor, East Carolina University
Greenville, NC

Your outlook on your life and how you view your ICD will affect how you adjust to life after your ICD. Experiencing heart problems changes your perspectives. Some people report new feelings of uncertainty, fears, and sadness. These are feelings that are common in victims of traumatic events that prompt big changes. Research has shown that positive adjustment to heart disease is possible as individuals understand both negative and positive changes that accompanied heart disease.

ICD patients are both victims and survivors. Part of the psychology of living well with an ICD is deliberately emphasizing in your outlook and your actions the survivor style. This is a daily effortful process since evidence for both victimhood and survivorship can be found in your life. Survivors learn to value the “new” changes in the present as necessary and ultimately beneficial. Victims repeatedly compare the past as much better than the present. They often get stuck in wishing about the past. ICD patients often need strategies to remind themselves to think and act like a survivor.

Self work: Identify some life experiences that are valuable to you that you are able to do on a regular basis. These are often daily experiences that are signs of the meaning and value of your life. Examples include: daily interactions with the postman, smell of coffee, warm food, etc. This might sound like a list of things that you are thankful for or might be moments with people in your life that are meaningful. Regardless, survivorship means paying close attention to the rewards of life and of surviving. Survivorship thinking is a step-by-step process in which you deliberately focus attention on the important, meaningful, and sacred aspects of daily life.

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Re: Survivorship in ICD Patients

Post by TruckerRon » March 8th, 2017, 10:32 pm

Because I was in training to be a clinical chaplain when I had my SCA, I was already seeing a therapist in order to identify and deal with any trigger issues. So, I was able to immediately start working on identifying my new issues stemming from the SCA and the changes in my life resulting from the experience. And from the new medications!

There is life after getting an ICD if you choose to live it; getting professional help makes it easier.
TruckerRon -- Received Minion I on 17 Sep 2009, Minion II on 26 Jan 2015

Non-ischemic cardiomyopathy
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Colin Pearson
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Re: Survivorship in ICD Patients

Post by Colin Pearson » March 13th, 2017, 7:30 am

That is a really good piece there Bob, especially the advice in the final paragraph.

Thank you for finding it and posting it up.

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