alt=a woman holding a large pencil bursting through a piece of paper to change the narrative

Changing the Narrative

Last updated: February 2023

As with most things in life, there are some stigmas and preconceived ideas that people have about things. Often times these come from a place of ignorance, or simply bad information. It is possible that it may even come from a place of simply not being bothered to try and understand. Overall, I find this very frustrating in life, and most certainly when it comes to understanding people who are struggling with a condition like heart failure. So let's break down some of these "ideas" that people have and shed some light.

Misconceptions people may have about those with heart failure

"You are lazy"

You are not lazy. This might be one of my biggest annoyances. People who experience heart failure often struggle to keep up with daily tasks and chores. I have more often than not heard from people in our community that their families things think they are lazy. This breaks my heart, you are not lazy! Not being able to keep up by no means makes you lazy. When you are experiencing heart failure your body tires so quickly and getting things done is simply impossible some days.

People around you could rather help you keep up and keep the house than be name-calling. It would be so nice if they could just see you for what you are going through and offer to help. We should not have to even ask for it.

Stress does not impact your physical health

This is one of those across-the-board narratives, but especially relevant to heart failure. Stress has a massive impact on many people. Being dismissive of that is not helpful in any way, shape, or form. In fact, it in turn can simply create more stress for the person on the receiving end.

Stress left unchecked could possibly lead to blood pressure issues and can negatively affect your heart health. It could also directly affect your health by causing a much faster heartbeat and sudden contraction of the muscle. It could possibly also cause blood to be pumped faster and can lead to an array of issues.

"But you look okay."

You might be having a good day, or even more so, your body is just not showing the struggle so predominantly. This does not by any means, mean that you are okay! Nor should people around you make this assumption. Just because you are having a good day does not mean that you can disregard your heart health. This goes for the people around you too, as it is easy to forget that someone is experiencing heart failure when they look fantastic. Some people are just blessed and never really look ill. We need to remember and keep in mind that what we see on the outside does not reflect our inner health.

What other misconceptions need to be addressed around heart failure?

What other common stigmas do you often encounter, and what do you wish people knew about heart failure and you? I would love to hear from our community about the things they feel that people around them need to take more note of. These can be common misconceptions or something that is unique to you and your situation.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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