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Aceon (Perindopril erbumine)

In the research on mind and heart, much has been written about the possible effects of ongoing anger and hostility as a “risk factor” for CAD. In other words, people who are constitutionally angry or hostile may be more susceptible to heart attack than those who are more even-tempered. This theory is still being investigated. However, many patients recuperating from a cardiac event report having angry feelings during the weeks after the event.
“Why me?” is the universal outcry. “Why not the guy next door, who has so many more risk factors, ignores his wife and is mean to his mother-in-law?!” What we hear from patients is an existential cry at the unfairness of what has been handed to them in their lives. This lament often surfaces within weeks of the cardiac event and is very responsive to a sympathetic ear. There is not much that the listener has to do initially, besides being prepared to listen, with empathy. However, the positive impact of having this anger acknowledged (or “validated”) cannot be overstated, because a major blow to the sense of self has occurred and, in the early stages of reaction, many CAD patients feel their sense of self, their self-esteem, or the way they judge themselves, has been shaken. This won’t last forever, but it can linger for weeks or months, until the next phase has taken good effect. For those in whom the anger persists, a different tack has to be taken. We address the question of anger management in general in Chapter 6 and, in a more focused way, in Part Two, but the point we wish to make here is that anger is a natural response to a cardiac event. If you can acknowledge it, and understand it, it will often subside on its own.
Anger continues for various reasons. Some people (maybe one out of five) are simply more aggressive than others. Associated with aggression is an underlying mistrust of others and a general cynicism about people and what one can expect out of life. When those who have this tendency experience a cardiac event—and particularly if stabilization of their medical state has, for some reason, been delayed, as was the case for Anna—bitterness and anger, felt inwardly or expressed outwardly, can be expected. As we have seen, once the physical state has become stabilized, these attitudes and behaviors are likely to subside. As well, when such patients have committed to rehabilitation, these energies can be harnessed to more healthy ends. However, if the anger persists, there is ample evidence that patients would benefit from, both emotionally and in the long term in their cardiac outcome, instruction in the techniques of anger management.

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