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Depression: Bad for Your Heart

 

It is well known that there is a correlation between depression and cardiac risks; from developing heart problems or having recurring cardiovascular events or heart-related death. This is thought to stem from several external factors that depression influences, such as obesity, smoking, and insomnia, as well as an internal factor; such as slower cardiovascular recovery after exercise. Although the risks are raised, there are certain preventative measures that people can take to maintain a healthy lifestyle with depression.

Although the exact link between depression and cardiovascular disease isn’t known, there are certain risk factors that are associated with both. For instance, children with depression are more likely to turn into adolescent smokers, as well as live a sedentary lifestyle. People with depression are also more likely to suffer from insomnia. These are all risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease; and when a person has heart problems, these are factors that increase the risks of recurrent, negative cardiovascular events and heart disease-related death. There is also the matter of dysfunctional autonomic control, which suggests that people who suffer from depression have a slower rate of cardiovascular recovery after exercise. These are all things that heighten the risk of developing serious heart problems, or suffering further health consequences related to cardiovascular disease.

There is no agreed upon regimen that people who suffer from depression should follow in order to lower their risks of cardiovascular health problems, but there are certain steps that can be followed to have a program of prevention. For instance, those who suffer from depression should regularly consult their physicians in regard to potential heart health problems. Obviously, it is helpful to not start smoking, as many people with depression do; but if someone’s already a smoker, quitting could be beneficial for both their mental and physical health. Lastly, although there isn’t a specific advised amount, regular exercise can be used as a measure to boost both physical and mental health in regards to depression. By exercising, people improve their blood flow, and decrease depressive symptoms, as well as build heart strength. There’s no guarantee that these will prevent someone from developing cardiovascular problems, but they are certainly helpful, especially when taken in consideration with the startling connection between depression and heart-related health issues.

Depression is widely seen as a debilitating mental illness that detracts from productivity and happiness. Now, we know without a shadow of a doubt that depression also is linked to insidious heart problems and risks associated with cardiovascular events. By taking this link into consideration and being proactive in their mental and physical health, depressed people can lower their risks while being aware of the dangers they are potentially circumventing.

 

Works Cited:

Gibson, Jennifer. Depression- A Disease of the Heart. 4 March 2012. http://brainblogger.com/2012/03/04/depression-a-disease-of-the-heart/. 22 March 2013.

Health. Childhood Depression May Be Tied to Later Heart Risk: Study. 15 March 2013. http://news.health.com/2013/03/15/childhood-depression-may-be-tied-to-later-heart-risk-study/. 22 March 2013.

Reinberg, Steven. Anxiety, Depression May Triple Risk of Death for Heart Patients: Study. 19 March 2013. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/03/19/anxiety-depression-may-triple-risk-of-death-for-heart-patients-study/. 22 March 2013.

 

 

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Written by

A native New Yorker, Bre loves the California scene and writing for Treatment4Addiction. She has been writing content for T4A for five months, and loves to learn new things, form opinions, and send them out to the world. Her interests include dance, singing, acting, talking with friends, being a daughter, and being the best big sister she can to her 16 year old brother. After attending ASU for a few months, she is interested in taking cosmetology classes and exploring her options. She looks forward to learning all she can, and doing something positive with that knowledge and experience.

Filed under: Conditions and Disorders, Latest News, Mental Illness · Tags: adolescent smokers, cardiovascular disease, children, depression, depressive symptoms, Exercise, healthy lifestyle, heart, heart problems, mental health, mental illness, obesity, physical health, Quitting smoking, regular exercise, smoking, smoking insomnia