Depression after heart attack
by: Nicholas Webb
There are several factors can lead to depression after heart attack. The stress of being in the hospital, the fear of
another heart attack, time away from work can all contribute to feeling depressed, helpless, down and despondent.
Do many people suffer depression after heart attack?
Not surprisingly, the answer to this question is yes. Recent studies show that as many as 65% of people who have a
heart attack report feeling depressed, down and despondent. A general state of despair. Moreover, women, people who
have been depressed before, and people who feel alone and without social or emotional support are at a higher risk
for feeling depressed after a heart attack. Two new Canadian studies have shown that More than twice as many women
than men tend to fall into chronic depression after suffering a heart attack and are more likely to lead lives of
poorer quality following their treatments.
Being depressed can also make it harder for you to recover.
However, depression can be treated.
Being told by doctors that you should take up exercise, adopt a
new diet, stop smoking, etc. etc. etc. can certainly make you feel helpless, in fact, you will probably have
good days and bad days following your release from hospital. However, most people start to feel better as time passes.
People that are quickly able to get back to their usual routines normally notice a drop in anxiety faster than those
So what exactly is depression?
Depression, be it after a heart attack or not, is a medical illness, like diabetes or high blood pressure and not just somebody
going crazy. This is important both for the sufferer and family members to understand. The symptoms of depression may include some
or all of the following:
- Feeling sad or crying often
- Losing interest in daily activities that used to be
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Sleeping too much or having trouble sleeping
- Feeling agitated, cranky or sluggish
- Loss of energy
- Feeling very guilty or worthless
- Problems concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Can heart disease trigger depression or depression trigger heart disease?
Either of the above may be true, one thing seems clear. The two are often found hand in hand, therefore controlling
one may help control the other.
According to The American Academy of Family Physicians research has shown that
people who are depressed and have pre-existing cardiovascular disease have a 3.5 times greater risk of dying of a heart
attack than patients with heart disease who are not depressed. In a recent study, depression was shown to be associated
with an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease in men and women. Depression was shown to increase
mortality related to coronary heart disease in men but had no effect on mortality in women.
How can the risk of relapse be avoided?
The risk of relapses, be it of heart disease or depression, can be greatly reduced by living a healthy lifestyle, and
your doctor will instruct you on this. However, some important lifestyle modifications are avoiding alcohol, illegal drugs,
smoking, start a regular exercise program, eating a balanced diet, manage stress, join a club, meet new people or take courses
in things that interest you. Finally, try to get sufficient rest and sleep.
For more heart health related information visit www.AllAbout-Heart-Disease.com - a site that offers user-friendly articles, tips and advice for avoiding heart disease, getting the edge on risk factors and living your life to the full!
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