Depression and Its Connection to Heart Disease

Sep 18 • 2015

We know that depression can impact the brain and how people behave, but many people don’t realize that it can impact your entire body. Depression has been linked to a variety of other issues, one of the biggest being heart disease. Knowing how to identify depression and the best way to treat it in people with heart disease is incredibly important.

Symptoms of Depression
Depression is more than simply feeling sad. It involves a wide range of serious feelings that can make coping seem impossible. If you or someone you know is suffering from the following symptoms, depression could be the cause.

  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, or helplessness
  • Persistent sadness, anxiety, or feelings of emptiness
  • Easily becoming irritable or restless
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Change in eating habits
  • Difficulty making decisions, remembering details, or focusing
  • Loss of interest in things you once found enjoyable
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Headaches, cramps, aches, pains, or digestive problems that do not improve with treatment

Depression and Heart Disease
Depression is more likely to affect people with heart disease than people who are otherwise healthy. While the exact reason has not been determined, angina and heart attacks have been linked closely with depression. Additionally, symptoms of depression can have a big impact on your mental and physical health, which can make symptoms of heart disease worse.

Speaking with your doctor about your depression can allow for you to get the necessary treatment, which can also help you manage heart disease. The main treatment options include therapy and antidepressants. However, there are some lifestyle changes you can also choose to make that can relieve depression, improve your overall health, and help reduce your risk for heart disease. These healthy habits include:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Reducing the amount of alcohol you consume
  • Engaging in regular physical activity
  • Quitting smoking

If you are struggling with depression, speak with your doctor and your loved ones so you can begin the journey to a happier, healthier life.