When you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, you may instantly feel completely alone. The feeling is, of course, totally illogical when you consider that heart disease is the most common health ailment among women. So while you’re hardly alone, sometimes it is hard to be completely logical when you are going through a major life change. In August 2009, a study published by the American Psychosomatic Society found that there was a direct correlation between loneliness and coronary heart disease, which can mean that women with existing heart disease could be at increased risk of future heart-related complications, along with depression and anxiety. Your world has been completely turned upside-down and you are suddenly juggling multiple prescription medications, dietary restrictions and extreme fatigue, and it may feel like there is no one out there who truly understands you anymore.
Luckily, in our networked society, there are many ways that you can connect with other women who are dealing with the same heart health issues. They may be around the corner or halfway around the world, but are really only as far away as the click of a mouse. Check out WomenHeart’s online community and support network Inspire <http://www.womenheart.org/supportForWomen/community.cfm> to connect with other women living with heart disease. Community members can share stories, post journal entries and participate in discussions with other women with similar heart conditions or who have had similar treatments.
A 2007 study in Great Britain showed that heart patients who were given access to information and communication via the Internet were more likely to participate in healthy behaviors.