A diagnosis of DVT or PE brings many things to cope with, both physically and mentally. Immediately after a diagnosis, you may be dealing with physical pain, trying to understand why the clot happened and adjusting to the lifestyle impact of taking a blood thinner.
It is normal to feel shock, anxiety and fear following the diagnosis of a blood clot.
Temporary feelings of anxiety or depressed mood can occur in the first few weeks. The fear of a future clot recurrence can produce ongoing anxiety. Tell your doctor if your feelings do not improve or are accompanied by a withdrawal from activities or increased negative thoughts and tearfulness, as these may indicate a more severe depression requiring treatment.
First, know that you are not alone. Blood clots are a common medical condition. It is estimated that between 300,000-600,000 people in the United States develop DVT and PE each year.
In-person support groups do exist, but unfortunately, they are uncommon. Ask your health care provider if one exists in your area. We are aware of these support resources.
Secondly, know that blood clots are treatable and manageable. Most patients recover without significant complications. Educate yourself about your condition. Be clear on your treatment plan. Ask your doctor any questions you might have.
Learn more: A detailed discussion of the psychological impact of a blood clot.