TAMPA (WFLA) – Alyssa Rakovich thought she did everything right. She was a certified yoga instructor who worked out every day, ate right and took good care of herself.
Finding out she had heart disease just before her 43rd birthday was the last thing she expected.
“Everytime we would do yoga or a workout I would be exhausted,” Rakovich said.
Rakovich had a nearly 90 percent blockage and needed immediate double bypass open-heart surgery. She wasn’t prepared for the mental toll it would take.
“I had no experience with depression at all,” says Rakovich. The past three years I didn’t leave the house much, I didn’t go out much. I didn’t socialize much.”
Psychologist Dr. Kristin Kronsnoble says depression after heart surgery is not uncommon.
“It’s not something to ignore, for sure.”
Dr. Kronsnoble says about 25 percent of heart patients suffer depression after bypass surgery. She says a lot of times it managing expectations.
“They’re disappointed in their progress but they don’t know what to compare it to.”
She suggests setting simple goals that are reachable and asking for help along the way.
Rakovich eventually did seek counseling for her depression and found getting back into a routine helped her come out of that dark chapter in her life.