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PAH and your mental health.

When you have pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), mental health matters. Symptoms of PAH impact how you feel and affect the life changes you need to make. Some people can’t work or can’t work the same number of hours. That impacts finances. So do medical costs. Your PAH medications may be complicated to take and often have side effects. Relationships can change. You may worry about what the future will bring. These are just a few examples.

If you’re feeling stressed, depressed or anxious, you’re not alone. Know that these and other mental health challenges are common for those living with PAH. Your physical and mental health affect each other. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to both your body and mind. 

So, what can you do? First, know that your feelings and worries are common and that you do have support throughout your journey. What works for you may be different than what works for someone else. But, here are some ideas that might help.

Pay attention to how you feel

Some common signs that you might need help include:

  • Not wanting to do things you used to do
  • Not wanting to go out or see friends and family
  • Feelings of sadness that don’t go away. Temporary feelings of sadness are expected. But if those feelings last longer than about two weeks, you may have depression
  • Feeling on edge or getting frustrated easily
  • Thinking a lot about what you can’t do
  • Feeling more anxious than usual
  • Having a hard time concentrating
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Wanting to eat more or less than usual
  • Thinking about death or suicide
  • Feeling guilty, worthless or empty

Ask for help or support

  • Reach out to your CVS Specialty PAH CareTeam or a mental health care provider. They can support you and answer your questions.
  • Learn as much as you can about PAH. Your health care team can help you understand what is going on and why.
  • Talk honestly. Your health care team can help you sort out your feelings, work through them, communicate and cope. They can give you advice and suggest resources to help you manage or overcome depression or anxiety.
  • Ask for help from family or friends that you trust. This may be help around the house or running errands. Or asking someone to listen.
  • Join a support group. You may find comfort as you share your challenges with other living with PAH.

Take care of yourself

  • Think about what helps you lower your stress

Remember, treating your mental health is just as important as treating your physical health.

If you have questions about your condition or medications, your PAH CareTeam is here to help. Call your CareTeam 24/7 at 1-87-PAHCARE-8 (1-877-242-2738).

This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about your medical condition and prior to starting any new treatment. CVS Specialty assumes no liability whatsoever for the information provided or for any diagnosis or treatment made as a result. 

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