Sometimes it’s okay to put yourself first.

One in five people experience depression at some point in their lives.

It’s natural to feel sad, low or despondent in response to setbacks, upsetting life events and difficulties.

Someone with a congenital heart condition might, at times, face additional challenges that can affect their mood.

These challenges include:

  • Changes in symptoms
  • Feeling different from others
  • Deterioration in health
  • Physical limits on exercise and activities
  • Waiting for and recovery from surgery
  • Bereavement
  • Concerns about the future
  • Financial concerns
  • Employment worries and issues
  • Life expectancy issues.

Getting down and feeling low is a normal reaction to these events, as are feelings like anxiety and anger. At these times, it is essential to focus on taking care of yourself and getting the support you need.

Call our free heart helpline for confidential heart-to-heart support.
0800 854 759

One in five people experience depression at some time in their lives.

Find out how to deal with low mood and depression and access some self-help strategies.

How to improve your emotional health

  • Get regular exercise as prescribed by your CHD specialist, cardiologist or GP
  • Breathe deeply. Meditative, deep breathing is calming and relieves stress; especially if you do it regularly
  • Take time for yourself to help reduce and manage stress
  • Get together with friends. There is no substitute for being with people you love
  • Try volunteering or joining a local group of people with similar interests to you.

Handy resources

Dealing with depression
Managing anxiety
Preparing for and coping with surgery
Improving sleep
Coping with deterioration of health

With your help, we’ve helped fund new and improved treatments for congenital heart disease. we opened the UK’s first dedicated Congenital Heart Research Centre. we’ve organised receptions at the House of Lords and House of Commons, a film première, concerts, parachute jumps, marathon runs, annual sponsored walks and masquerade balls. we ensure that adult CHD patients enjoy access to every opportunity, are free from discrimination, and are fully supported throughout their lives. we’ve staged annual conferences, regional patient information days and workshops throughout the UK. we’ve published a range of leaflets for CHD patients on a wide-range of topics. we’ve launched a Freephone patient helpline to provide practical advice, a listening ear, and emotional reassurance at times of stress. we’ve created online networks where congenital heart patients can connect with each other. we successfully applied for a Comic Relief grant to help develop mental health support services. we’ve contributed to adult congenital heart disease nurse training days and taken part in various study days and conferences for medical and health professionals. we’ve established a benevolent fund for members who are in financial hardship. we’ve organised residential weekends and outward bound holidays for teenagers and adults, providing congenital heart patients with the opportunity to meet and gain support from each other.

Just think what else we could do if you donate, fundraise or volunteer for us.


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