Depression and Heart Disease - Discussion
Depression and heart disease are linked because it is common for many people suffering from any form of major ailment, disease condition, and / or illness to feel sad and depressed.
The human body and mind in its normal state of wellbeing goes through a lot of stress and strain on a daily basis, and this can sometimes cause feelings of being down. Under the circumstances, if one is diagnosed with a major disease condition, it becomes very difficult for the person to cope with the problem and overcome it. Initially, the various symptoms associated with the health condition will cause a lot of pain and suffering; later, the fear of not knowing what will happen will add to the stress and tension. Therefore, people who are diagnosed with heart disease or any other medical condition are quite likely to suffer from some form of depression.
When compared to people suffering from most other health conditions, persons with cardiac conditions need to be a little extra cautious and learn to come to terms with their problem. This is because depression and tension can worsen the condition, and the person can develop high blood pressure, palpitations, and other related problems. Depression and heart disease is a potential vicious cycle which can spiral out of control, and this is one of the main reasons why people with cardiac conditions need to learn to manage their stress, develop a healthy and positive mental attitude, and develop the emotional and physical strength required to combat the condition.
Persons who are diagnosed with arterial blocks and need to undergo surgery must not give in to fear and instead prepare themselves for the procedure. They must be determined to go through the entire process without panicking and getting stressed out. This is because depression and other stress-related problems only increase the risk of heart attack, worsening the depression and heart disease situation. Indeed, depression can cause heart conditions. Therefore, it is important for the person to remain calm, positive, and face the problem without getting depressed or feeling negative.
It has been noted that close to one in every six people who have suffered from heart attacks often end up going through moderate-to-severe depression. This is because people find it extremely difficult to come to terms with the fact that their health is failing them, hence explaining in part the depression and heart disease connection.
In addition, people who are diagnosed with cardiac problems are required to follow a strict diet and exercise program, stop drinking alcohol, and give up smoking. All of this can become extremely challenging, especially for people who are used to leading a lifestyle that did not have any restrictions or curbs. Again, this helps to explain the depression and heart disease link.
At times like this, it is important for one to realize that developing a healthy lifestyle helps build immunity and also helps the body rejuvenate. Dealing with the problem one day at a time and not letting the problem affect one in a negative way can help the person learn to overcome the problem and its associated symptoms, to undergo treatment, and to recover completely.
Similarly, in cases where people have undergone surgery for various heart conditions, it is important to stay focused on the recovery phase and not develop a negative attitude. During the recovery phase, these persons must be encouraged to share their emotions, fears, and thoughts with friends, family, and therapists, so that they are not bottling up any negative or fearful emotions, because this can increase the risk of heart failure and require further hospitalization and treatment. These simple steps can help to break the depression and heart disease cycle.
Prevention is better than cure; therefore, people who are at risk of cardiac conditions must learn to decrease stress in their lives and develop a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, as well as a healthy diet which is low-fat, low-cholesterol, and high on omega-3 fatty acids. These simple steps will help to prevent heart disease. In addition, if one can cultivate the habit of practicing yoga and meditation, it will go a long way in relaxing the body and mind, thus aiding in keeping both depression and heart disease at bay.
Friends and family members, too, need to be extra observant when loved ones are diagnosed with cardiac conditions, and look for changes in mood, behavior patterns, sleeping and eating habits. This is one way of assessing if people diagnosed with heart problems are slipping into depression.
If one finds that loved ones are becoming highly irritable, having problems sleeping at night, are unable to eat and enjoy the company of friends and family, feeling sad and hopeless, talk about dying and other negative emotions, cry, refuse to socialize, etc, for over two weeks, it is important to seek professional help.
Encouraging them to discuss their fears and teaching them to overcome this challenge is very important, because the underlying cardiovascular problem will only get worse with depression. As mentioned earlier, depression can cause or contribute to heart disease and conditions; this fact has been shown in studies. We definitely would not want the depression and heart disease cycle to spiral out of control.
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