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Defibrillator
I would like to know if there are people who have ICDs and get shocked frequently, because of rapid or prolonged ventricular arrhythmias.
Specifically, I would like to know if they get depressed or anxious because of it.
I have a 63 year old relative who was advised to get an ICD.
Thank you.
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It's like knowing if you touch a door knob you are going to get a static shock.  You know it won't really hurt you, you know it will only last a second, but you still don't want to touch that darn door knob.  Only this is in your chest and it will reset your heart rythm.  So, yes, serious trepidation.  Knowing you have to touch that door knob, and knowing what's going to happen, you do whatever you can to minimize it, but you still know it's going to happen. The depression is from knowing it will happen for the rest of your life.  The newer technology is supposed to minimize the number of unneeded shocks and can be programmed around your normally abnormal arrythmias unless life threatening.  In my case I happen to feel the recalibration as small static shocks, pretty much daily at 1am.  It's not a full out trigger of the device but it's enough to wake me if I'm sleeping or anxiously await it if I'm awake. But they tell me most people don't feel it unless it's a required full trigger so your mileage may vary.  DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT a doctor.  You should only accept medical advise from a licensed professional.
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My dad had an ICD for 16 yrs, and he was shocked by it several times over the years, once he was here at my house and it shocked him 26 times before the ambulance got him to the ER.  Very freaky, and we found out it did that because he quit taking his amiodarone because it made him off balance as a side effect and he hated that.  After that episode he took it religiously.  On his shocks that happened once in a while, it shocked him then he just went about his business, didn't call the dr, or anything.  He said it feels like getting kicked in the chest, he could sometimes feel something before it would shock him, probably the arrhythmia, (I know how that feels since I have them now) he would try to put his knees up and curl in to protect himself.  I feel that ICD gave my dad 16 more years of life and he really enjoyed himself.
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I think a better place to ask is the icd support group.  Lots of experience there with regards to shocks and ICD settings to minimize unnecessary shocks.  Also meds and ablation.
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