Pulmonary hypertension is a progressive and chronic disease that leads to high blood pressure specifically in the pulmonary arteries, which are the blood vessels of the lungs. Unfortunately, this disease has multiple causes, that together with how soon it’s diagnosed and they started giving you treatment can affect prognosis.
While there is presently no cure for the disease, there is ongoing research by various institutions, such as PVRI. Even better, the improvements in diagnostic techniques and therapies mean that diagnosing pulmonary hypertension earlier is now possible. Because this is a progressive disease, it means it can worsen in the long run, though it’s speed depends on the person and the type of pulmonary hypertension. This article discusses the impact of pulmonary hypertension on your well-being.
What to expect after being diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension
When you have pulmonary hypertension, you may likely have physical and psychological issues. Besides, you can have social, emotional, and even financial effects linked to the disease.
These include depression, anxiety, and stress, which can be quite common among people because there are regular thoughts about their medical condition, finances, treatment, and many other issues.
Fortunately, you can discuss with your healthcare team or even seek a professional counselor. In the case of stress or depression, you can also get antidepressant medication to manage your condition.
Keep in mind that stress can be part of your experience. It always comes regardless of whether you’re planning an event or when there is devastation in your family. The truth is that there is always a bit of stress in your daily life.
But when it combines with a chronic illness, such as pulmonary hypertension, it can be hard to manage it. Even worse, without the right attention, it has the potential of taking a huge toll on your quality of life and physical health.
For some people who have pulmonary hypertension, the stress that is caused by this disease starts before diagnosis. Some people say they start feeling the stress associated with fatigue and breathlessness, making it hard to finish normal tasks, such as cooking dinner or running simple errands.
On the other hand, some people experience many years of misdiagnosis, so the uncertainty of knowing that something Is amiss but not knowing the exact thing gives rise to stress.
Upon diagnosis, many people experience stress linked to various challenges that come because of living with a chronic illness. Most of these challenges are directly associated with your disease management and physical health, as you adjust to specific life-sustaining medications.
Physicians and nurses are available at pulmonary hypertension to answer your questions, but a lot of information can sometimes overwhelm you, especially if you don’t have any medical background. Learn about PVRI and how they can help you overcome pulmonary hypertension.
Some of the medications that treat pulmonary hypertension require preparation before administration, which can be overwhelming for you, so this can also cause stress.
Managing stress after pulmonary hypertension diagnosis
Once you’re diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, you may experience stress. To make matters complicated, the activities that you used to do to cope with stress may not be suitable after this diagnosis.
Traditional forms of exercise and many other physical stress-relievers like deep breathing are not ideal for some patients. Here are some of the things that you can do to cope with the stress associated with the diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension:
Adapting and moving forward
No doubt, pulmonary hypertension can take a huge toll on your physical and psychological health. It’s important to acknowledge that your life has changed, so you need to change the way you handle your life, especially stress as well. The good news is that many people with pulmonary hypertension learn how to manage stress better in the long run.
This is because they develop the right coping strategies that affect their body, mind, and spirit. Remember that stress can be very subjective. What causes stress in you may bring pleasure and joy to another person. Therefore, you need to explore a couple of stress relief techniques before choosing the ideal routine that meets your needs.
Expect the unexpected
It might appear counter-intuitive, but when you accept its presence in your life, you tend to cope with it. Instead of getting rid of stress entirely, you should just acknowledge that you may face some occasional problems every day. Some of these challenges include everyday hurdles while others are much larger obstacles.
But when you accept that challenges are bound to occur regardless of whether you have pulmonary hypertension or not, you can learn to take your situation as a challenge that needs to be overcome. After all, it’s a good idea to let go of the things that you can’t control so that it becomes easier to move forward with your life.
Reduce your to-do-list
It’s also good to make a personal commitment to ensure that you treat yourself in the best way possible by setting up realistic goals and even prioritizing tasks that are important to you.
So after a pulmonary hypertension diagnosis, you should adjust your goals to ensure they are realistic. Like many other people, you may hold yourself to high standards, and failing to reach a goal may leave you feeling discouraged. You need to understand that you can’t reach all your self-imposed expectations.
It’s crucial to prioritize the tasks in your life. Therefore, make a list of things you want to do and then rank them according to their importance. You can ask yourself if the things at the bottom of the list are essential. If they are not, you can take them off the list.
However, if they are important, then give yourself more time to get them done. As you can see, prioritizing tasks can help you to reduce the necessary stress so that you can focus on things that are meaningful in your life.
Think about this, you can sometimes tell your friends or family members that you don’t want to participate in some activities. It’s easier for some people to say no to their loved ones while others find it hard to say it. If you find it hard to say no, then you should consider telling them directly to make sure that they understand your situation and why you’re saying no.
Schedule in stress relief
It may appear a bit strange at first, but you need to schedule some time for stress relief. Now, it’s likely that you have many requirements in your daily life, so finding time to relax can be one of the last things on your to-do list.
This is the reason why it makes sense to allocate enough time for it, especially when you have pulmonary hypertension. You need to manage stress so that you have a clear mind, so you should incorporate some relaxing techniques in your daily routine.
You can take a few moments out of your daily routine to reflect or meditate in a quiet place. Other people prefer to do gardening, spend time with their loved ones, or even take a nice nap. In this way, you can feel more relaxed and recharged. Energy is crucial for anyone with pulmonary hypertension.
Aside from this, you should also consider doing mental exercises like crossword puzzles. Many people with pulmonary hypertension also find writing every day helps them reduce stress as it provides a safe way to explore their feelings.
Hence, you can write down your life events as they’re happening. This makes it easier to accept the challenges you’re experiencing and reflect on the available options.
Treat your body well
Remember that pulmonary hypertension can cause stress, so you should be proactive in most aspects of your life to reduce this stress. Your physical health is important, though there are many areas of it that you can’t control. Adopting good habits that can support your physical health can help to reduce mental stress.
You should avoid excessive drinking, smoking, and eating junk food. Instead, eat nutritious meals and make sure to take all your medication as directed so that you can feel better.
Above all, get enough sleep with naps when you want them to make sure that you have adequate energy to handle stressful situations caused by pulmonary hypertension.
Physical exercise is a well-known stress relief element. Over time, you can reincorporate low-effect exercise into your daily life to relax and energize. You don’t need to give up exercise once you’re diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension.
You can go to a local pulmonary hypertension rehab center where you can do exercise. In this way, you can rest assured that you will alleviate stress. These centers usually have professionals who have a good knowledge of pulmonary hypertension and can provide recommendations based on your limitations. Therefore, you should consult with your doctor to determine the best exercise suitable for you.
To sum it up, stress can be difficult for you because it tends to increase your heart rate and pulmonary artery pressures. This makes it important to manage stress so that you can live a comfortable life while getting treatment for your condition.