Doctors & patients are saying about ''...

" is a great web site for patients, that is unequaled by anything else out there."

Dr. Douglas L. Packer, MD, FHRS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

"Jill and I put you and your work in our prayers every night. What you do to help people through this [A-Fib] process is really incredible."

Jill and Steve Douglas, East Troy, WI 

“I really appreciate all the information on your website as it allows me to be a better informed patient and to know what questions to ask my EP. 

Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

“I think your site has helped a lot of patients.”

Dr. Hugh G. Calkins, MD  Johns Hopkins,
Baltimore, MD

Doctors & patients are saying about 'Beat Your A-Fib'...

"If I had [your book] 10 years ago, it would have saved me 8 years of hell.”

Roy Salmon, Patient, A-Fib Free,
Adelaide, Australia

"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su,
Cavanaugh Heart Center, 
Phoenix, AZ

"...masterful. You managed to combine an encyclopedic compilation of information with the simplicity of presentation that enhances the delivery of the information to the reader. This is not an easy thing to do, but you have been very, very successful at it."

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
Rome, Italy

"Within the pages of Beat Your A-Fib, Dr. Steve Ryan, PhD, provides a comprehensive guide for persons seeking to find a cure for their Atrial Fibrillation."

Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

The Mental Games that A-Fib Plays―Anthony Offers Ways to Cope

For a substantial portion of A-Fib patients, the impact on ‘quality of life’ extends beyond our beating heart. Atrial Fibrillation wreaks havoc with your head as well.

In his A-Fib story, Anthony Bladon wrote:

“The mental games that A-Fib play are insidious. The constant lurking fear that A-Fib may spontaneously return. I absolutely needed to develop coping mechanisms. I firmly encourage you to do the same!”

Recent research indicates that “psychological distress” worsens the severity of A-Fib symptoms.

How Anthony Learned to Cope

Now A-Fib free, Anthony recommends several coping techniques: frequent short rests, staying hydrated and practicing relaxation exercises to help you remain unstressed.

He advises you to confront your A-Fib fears directly. Don’t let your fears mill around in your subconscious. Another suggestion is to:

“…set aside a 20 minute worrying time during the day and refuse to think about troubling fears at any other time.”

In addition, he developed what he calls an ‘anxiety thoughts log’ for writing down word-for-word what the anxious thought was, when, and what was the trigger. He explained how it helped him:

“By confronting my most extreme fears very explicitly (‘Is this a TIA or A-Fib?’ or ‘I’m afraid of a stroke, I might die or be disabled’, or ‘I can’t contemplate a third ablation!’), it became easier to re-state and contextualize them in a more reasonable frame of mind, thereby reducing my anxiety.”

Anthony is pleased with the eventual outcome of his two CryoAblations. After being A-Fib free for two years he wrote, “I feel like a new man!” To read more, see Anthony’s A-Fib story.

Fight your Fears! Ambush your Anxiety!

The emotional effects of Atrial Fibrillation can be debilitating. Recent research indicates that “psychological distress” worsens the severity of A-Fib symptoms.

A-Fib wreaks havoc with your head as well as your heart. Anxiety, fear, worry, confusion, frustration and depression. And at times, anger.

But, don’t expect much help from your heart doctors. They aren’t trained or often have little effective experience in dealing with the psychological and emotional aspects of A-Fib.

Don’t be ashamed to admit how A-Fib makes you feel (especially if you’re a guy). Your psyche is just as important as your physical heart. Anthony shared about seeking professional advice:

“If fears of A-Fib prey on your mind, I encourage you to seek out the help of a professional psychologist, as I did. After a few sessions of consultation, and with the continued use of tools like these, I was fully able to cope.”

Tell yourself: It’s okay to seek professional help to deal with the emotions that often accompany A-Fib. (Just acknowledging you have some or all of these symptoms is a step in the right direction.)

For more ideas, see our article: Seven Ways to Cope With Your A-Fib Fear and Anxiety

Have you tried any of Anthony’s coping techniques? Or do you have other ideas? If you have suggestions or programs that helped reduce your A-Fib-related anxiety, please email me and let me know.

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