Anxiety after a heart attack is a natural reaction. You have been through a sudden traumatic experience, which may take longer to recover from emotionally and mentally than it does to recover from physically.
It is normal that in the early days after a heart attack you may have nightmares, however after a couple of weeks they should start to become less and less frequent.
Some people will find that passing a hospital (even if it isn’t the one where they were a patient) will bring on feelings of distress or anxiety. Other people will find that reading or hearing about someone else having a heart attack fills them with dread or fear. Films and television can have an even stronger impact due the way they dramatize the event.
However there are many indications of anxiety and possible depression that are not brought on by an actual association to a heart attack. For example you may have lost interest in your hobbies or become irritable; you may have difficulty making decisions or your memory may have become poor; you may be experiencing feelings of helplessness, pessimism or sadness.
You may not directly associate these changes to being anxious or depressed after a heart attack, but they are all signs that you should take note of especially if they continue for any length of time.
Anxiety usually diminishes over time, however it can sometimes lead to depression. Counselling can quickly and easily prevent this, but you need to be aware of the signs that you need to take notice of. Everyone deals with traumatic situations differently and it is not a sign of weakness to see a counselor or a therapist. On the contrary, dealing with your emotional and mental reactions rather than ignoring them, will help with your physical recovery and also help to reduce the risk of a future heart attack.