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Heart Attack and Mood Swings
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Heart Attack and Mood Swings

I wonder if anyone can please help me.  My partner had a heart attack last October and hasn't been the same person since.  he is not fit and well and has been declared ok by the doctors but he is so moody now I just can't bare it.  He snaps at the smallest of things and won't discuss anything.  It has got to the point where we can't even hold a normal conversation without it turning into an argument.  he doesn't see it and is blaming me for everything but I feel like I am walking on eggshells all the time.  Is it normal for someone to suffer from mood swings after a heart attack?

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14 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
It must be because my boyfriend had one the end of October and he was the same way. He has gotten a little better but we still have a few argument every now and then. Just bear with him and hopefully it will get better.
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592969_tn?1248329005
Heart medication can cause mood swings and depression.  Talk to his doctor.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks.  I tried talking with him again last night because a few months ago he admitted that he was getting snappy but when I brought the subject up again last night he said he was fine now and that he isn't moody and I'm exaggerating.  It is very frustrating, I just hope he gets better with time.

Thanks again.
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566249_tn?1294661218
Most cardiac patients if not all have some degree of mood disorders and/or depression , it has to do both with the heart medicines and the illness itself , dealing with it is not easy at times there is a lot of help and support out there.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I'm so glad I found your post. My husband had an emergency 14 hr  heart op after suffering an aorta dissection suddenly. He also ended up having a double bypass, had part of his aorta replaced with a goretex graft and also had a mechanical valve. He is 40 and that was Aug. 2009 (6 mths ago). He's taking Cozaar (losartan) to treat high blood pressure, metroprolol (beta blocker), aspririn and warfarin (blood thinner).
He was never easy to live with but now he is suffering immense mood swings which he won't admit to, he blames everyone else, he gets very obtuse, angry and aggressive. He swings from one extreme to another. It's like living with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, one minute he's very loving, the next he's irrationally angry.
Please help! How normal is this? How long does it go on for? Is it the medication, the op or a combination? Should he consider switching medication? Is his behaviour an indicator for depression? Where do I turn to for support to stay sane? His GP hasn't been much help.
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1209084_tn?1267371006
Speaking only from my own limited experience, I have been in a massively foul mood, snappish, and hard to get along with almost on a daily basis since my failed angioplasty.  I have definitely noticed that my happy place seems to be a long way off these days, and I'm quite sure my family and those close to me have noticed that as well. Some here attribute it to the medications we have to take, and some attribute it to the condition(s) we suffer from.

Speaking only as a relatively anonymous voice on the Internet, I can tell you that each of my days since my diagnosis starts with a flaming rant against God/Allah/Buddha/insert your deity of choice here.  He/she/it is making my chest hurt like an elephant is sitting on it, he/she/it is keeping me from walking more than 50 yards without doubling over in pain and futilely trying to draw breath, and he/she/it is conspiring to prevent me from working in my chosen field due to all these physical symptoms. To think that the being who created you has it in for you personally and wants you to feel so bad is a humbling thing.  I ask myself at least once every day, "What the hell did I do to deserve this?" It is a terrible situation to be in even in the best case, and I think that sort of thinking or something similar is the root of why your partner is exhibiting such negativity.  

The root cause of all this negativity, again in my humble opinion, is simply pain.  Heart attacks HURT like hell - they do. So to answer your question, at least in my case, yes mood swings seem to be 'normal' in cardiac cases.  I for one would be giddy as a schoolgirl if my mood would swing back toward the good even once in a while.  It hasn't exhibited any tendency to do so for quite some time now, and I and those in my life are ready.

What can you do to help?  Again, I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer that.  Everybody's pain is different and everybody reacts differently to it. If I were in your shoes though, I would try to be as patient as I could, as understanding as I could, and occasionally let off some steam of your own because your feelings are important too and you need to express them. When my father had pancreatic cancer years ago, he suffered constant pain and let everybody around him know about it with great regularity.  One day, my mother, who had just listened to his litany of complaints for the umpteenth time, just lost it for a moment, grabbed her coffee cup, and threw it against the dryer in the laundry room with a throw that would have made Nolan Ryan jealous.  She put all of her anger and all of her frustration at the situation into that throw.  Years later, I think what she did that day was cheap mental therapy at only the cost of a coffee cup, because she sure seemed to handle his constant demands and complaints much better from that day on.

Again, my two cents only - take it or leave it.  But that's how I feel about it.  Good luck with your situation.
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976897_tn?1379171202
After my heart attack I didn't have mood swings as such but my biggest issue was frustration. I needed to talk all the time to try and put things into perspective and wonder what was going on and why. Medication and pain had no influence on me, and I did get snappy at people especially if they pretended to understand or didn't have any knowledge at all. The one thing someone needs after a heart attack is lots of answers and family can't give those. After a while, you begin to realise that nobody has some of the answers, only God. In the end my Wife subscribed to the internet and got me online. Since then it has been research research research. The more you learn, the more perspective you find, the better you feel. Some people say they don't want to know and push their feelings deep down trying to hide the whole situation. After the next trauma in life, those feelings will get harder to hold in so it's best to deal with them.
That's just me, maybe I'm the odd one out, but I can only report my own experience.
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Avatar_f_tn
I feel your pain. My husband was not the easiest person to live with but it has gotten unbearable. He is getting agressive, verbally abusive, and just plain mean. I catch myself wondering constantly what I am going to do. We cannot, cannot, have a conversation. He is self employed and I carry the health insurance for the family. There are days I think I am just going to pack up and leave but where would that leave him? He was a heavy smoker, ate horribly and a massive heart attack was the end result at 50 years of age. He has one stint. He also had a blood clot in his heart and was on blood thinner for a year. He has a Defibulator and a pacemaker. He first refused to get one and the doctor told him a patient just diagnosed with cancer would have a better chance of survival in five years than he if he didn't get it so he finally gave in. His heart was damaged and there is no way to repair it. I pushed and pushed to go to a bigger city with a bigger hospital for a second opinion and we got the same feedback. Yes, I feel sorry for him...but he chose the lifestyle that led to it. And what about the partners. We are also suffering. I think it is horrible, horrible that there is not a support system for the family.Somebody mentioned there was so much out there. WHERE? I am totally helpless. And afraid in my own home! I'm ready to throw in the towel. I am sick of crying every night!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I too am desperate for help.  My husband had a heart attack 5 years before we married.  I did not know him at that time.  2 months before we were to marry after 3 years of dating he had to have a triple bypass.  Physically he was much better and we continued with our plans to marry.  A year later he calls me from work stating he just felt strange.  I took him to the ER and after several tests it was determined his only hope was an internal difibrillator.  It has only been 18 days and his mood swings are awful to say the least.  He has been very moody since his bypass but now I can't say anything to him without being snapped at and everything is my fault.  As you stated I carry the health insurance.  His mother lives with us and he is always finding fault with her.  My stomach is killing me all the time.  I seem to live on xanax and am unable to hold down food so water with lemon juice is all I survive on lately.  Does he notice?  No....   He goes this week to have his difrillator checked and without his knowledge I plan to ask the doctor about his mood swings.  Plus next week he goes to his cardiologist and I plan to talk to her.  There is so much more going on that I don't dare share on here.  Is there a support group?  
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband, who is 42, just had a heart attack and 3 stints put in. His mood swings are getting bad. We are already struggling trying to recover from an infidelity on his part a couple years ago. I am trying to be patient, but have a lot of health issues myself. In the last 2 years I've had my back rebuilt, and in the last 8 months have had both knees replaced. one of the most stupid things is I've been trying to quit smoking during all my recoveries...and my husband never supported me, even smoking in the house. Now that he has to quit smoking, I am chewing gum and not having cigarettes around. Occasionally, I will go over to my cousin's house and smoke. The last thing my husband said to me last night was, " Every time you buy a pack I'm going to buy  pack." He even busted my chops for using boiling bag rice for our dog's food over bagged rice that takes 20 minutes to cook ....because of cost. By the way he bought a much needed truck for work, $25 K, but he's scream at me @ 10 pm at night over $1.08 bag of  rice. He also doesn't think he as mood swings. I don't know what to do?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi my real name is Bonnie ( bogartlovr). I am recently in the same situation as you and I wondered if you ever found a support group?
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm gald I am not alone. My husband had his first heart attack in 2000, second in 2006, and third in 2010. He is so mean and nasty that my children ask me why I married him. I tell them he never used to be like this, it only started after his first heart attack and has gotten worse with each one. I threatened him in 2004 with divorce, but stayed after he begged me not to file, and promised me things would get better. He is not physically abusive but the verbal and mental abuse has gotten so bad that I filed for divorce back in March of 2011. We are still together and trying to work things out. Although he is still in denial he did agree to go to counseling, which does not seem to be working! It has ruined our marriage and it looks like divorce is in our future. I hope your spouses get the help they need before it ruins your lives!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi.
I am a male nearly 70. Had a major heart attack at 51, and i could not believe the changes in myself. I would burst out crying for very little resason. Once I remember was looking at pictures of my father and family and sat sobbing. I was an emotional wreck. It was like my nerves were in turmoil. I don't think anything to do with medication.
Then I had a cardiac arrest a day after a Prostate Op. five years ago. I was fitted with a defibrilator which has saved my life on two occasions.
The teary stuff came back, but not so bad as the first time. I can still shed a tear for very little reason.
I have learned to live with the mood swings, but still find myself biting off my wifes head for very little reason.
Try to have patience, he should get better with time.

Brian. New Zealand.
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