Mental Health Minute: Heart Disease and Depression-Englewood Hospital
Credited to Ilene Scalzi, CEM II
People who develop cancer, diabetes or in particular, heart disease are at higher risk for developing depression as well. Depression’s link to cardiac medication and post-cardiac surgery has been the topic of many articles in healthcare journals. Approximately 40 to 65 percent of post-cardiac surgery patients suffer from depression (source NIMH).
There are many reasons why depression goes undetected in people with cardiac conditions. Most people-including patients and their doctors-expect a person who has had a heart attack to be sad or depressed. So depression is often dismissed as a natural reaction to illness.
Another reason why depression is often missed is because some cardiac medications have side effects that can make people lose their appetite, have trouble sleeping or feel run down. Therefore, it’s hard to determine what a medication side-effect is and what a depressive symptom is.
Be on the lookout for symptoms of depression:
*Feelings of sadness and helplessness
*Worried restless and anxious
*Lack of energy
*Sleeping too little or too much
*Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
*Thoughts of death or suicide
If you feel you have any of these symptoms, ask your doctor for a depression screening. For the most part, depression is effectively treated with medication and counseling.
Disclaimer: This information was taken from the Mental Health Minute newsletter from Englewood Hospital. Please check their website for more information.