Emotional and psychological recovery from SCAD can take longer than the physical one.

Sorting out our heads after SCAD is key to physical recovery. It is hard to do one without the other! Many people suffer with anxiety and panic for the first time in their life. Rest, loving support, healing and counselling can all help.



Fit and healthy mum, Sarah, says her mental recovery was harder than the physical

Sally Bee, who has had two SCADs, gives some helpful advice from the patient perspective

Dr Abi Al-Hussaini, SCAD expert at the Chelsea & Westminster hospital, explains the mental well-being side of getting over a SCAD in this video.

For many, talking to friends or family, engaging with the SCAD survivor community on Facebook and using reputable websites such as the BHF and Beat SCAD is enough to provide the support they need but, for others, it feels more serious. If you need support here are some options.

  • Talk to your Cardiac Rehab team if still doing rehab, as some have links with psychological support, eg Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help patients manage stress and anxiety. Click here for NHS information on CBT.
  • Talk to your GP, for possible referral for counselling and/or medicinal support (sleeping tablets, anti-depressants etc).
  • Self-refer to counselling
  • Research private counselling near to where you live.
  • Insight IATP offers free NHS talking therapies in some UK regions. There may be similar services in your area.

A key principle to good mental health is to try to ‘live in the moment’ instead of worrying about what the future might hold. This can be easier said than done, of course.

Taking a holistic approach can help. Many SCAD patients find that investigating things like yoga, Pilates, mindfulness, breathing exercises, guided meditations etc all help them to manage stress and anxiety and live more ‘in the moment’ as they recover from their SCADs. 

There are also some resources below with a few ideas to try.  

Click on the links below for suggestions on how to Cope with Hypervigilance.

Families and friends can also be affected by SCAD and this page offers some advice.

Very sadly, some SCAD patients do not survive, so if you have lost a loved one, read our Bereavement page where there are resources that may help.




General information, including how to refer yourself (you don’t need to access counselling via your GP)

BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists

BHF wellbeing resources 

BBC mental health toolkit

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

EMDR Association – EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing therapy) to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder


NHS information on mindfulness


Mindful information on mindfulness

Practising Gratitude (lots of information on this here but practising gratitude can be as simple as thinking of three things you are grateful for as you go to sleep, which will hopefully promote positive dreams).

Watch Sally Bee, who has had two SCADs, explain why ‘because it’s your heart, it plays with your head.

SCAD and Wellbeing – Dr Colette Soan, a local authority educational psychologist and a lecturer at the University of Birmingham, who has had two SCADs and has a diagnosis of FMD (Fibromuscular Dysplasia) was our keynote speaker.

Vicky Bailey, who had a SCAD in May 2019, is a psychotherapist and coach. She documented her SCAD journey in video blogs on her Youtube channel. Click here to view Part 1.

She also very kindly hosted some free webinars for SCAD patients focusing on things such as gratitude, anxiety, journalling and being mindful.

Gratitude – Navigating challenging times

Settling anxiety


The Healthy Mind Platter