The emotional effects of heart attacks may be more severe than anyone realized. More heart attack survivors developed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), than doctors previously realized. Survivors report a lack of faith in the body, paranoia about minor chest pain, sleeplessness and anxiety.

The emotional toll of a heart attack can be so severe that an estimated 1 in 8 patients who survive the experience develop post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that doubles the risk of dying of a second heart attack, according to new research.

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Katrina Schwartz

Katrina Schwartz is a journalist based in San Francisco. She's worked at KPCC public radio in LA and has reported on air and online for KQED since 2010. She's a staff writer for KQED's education blog MindShift.

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