Cardiac Sciences that study the diseases of blood vessels and the heart may now look to understand mental health better after proof that depression and heart disease have a profound connection. Cardiology, always known to be an exact science based primarily on the physical condition of the body, is considering the link that exists between depression and cardiovascular diseases. Those suffering from depression showed increased cardiovascular risk factors and are more prone to a cardiovascular episode and people with no previous history of depression, show symptoms of depression after a cardiovascular episode.
Understanding how both depression and heart disease are linked is now becoming an important part of heart disease treatment. A recent study in India by John Hopkins Medicine of over half a million people aged 18 to 49, shows that young adults who suffer from depression are more likely to have poor heart health and develop cardiovascular disease.
We shall explore this connection and how this affects heart treatment.
When depression can lead to cardiovascular disease
Rise in blood pressure and heart rate: While we may all go through days when we feel stressed and depressed, clinical depression, often undiagnosed, causes blood pressure to rise and heart rate to increase. This constant stress on the heart increases the likelihood for future heart problems.
Poor lifestyle choices: It has also been said that people undergoing depression make poor lifestyle choices often indulging in poor eating and sleeping habits, lack of exercise, alcohol abuse, smoking, etc. all established factors that contribute to poor heart health. Many depressed patients take help of alcohol and smoking (false coping mechanism) as they feel hesitant in taking proper professional guidance from mental health care workers (psychiatrist).
When heart failure and heart disease can cause depression
People who have experienced heart failure or cardiovascular disease experience a mental shift as well. This may include
Constant fear of another episode and feelings of uncertainty
Hopelessness and sadness from being more dependent on others or having to take precautions for preventing the heart condition from worsening,
Low confidence and loss of independence.
The new face of heart disease treatment
Cardiology or Cardiac Sciences now needs to incorporate mental health treatment into heart treatment since such a close correlation between the two exists.
Awareness needs to be created on the importance of mental health and its effects on physical health so that people take it seriously and seek appropriate help. Depression is often left undiagnosed with people being shamed for undergoing depression. Cardiologists are acknowledging the role mental health has to play in heart disease treatment and recovery.
This also means people need to be open with their doctors about the state of their mental health so that they can give them the support they need to get better. It gives us great pride, at Park Hospitals, to be able to provide our patients with a holistic view of heart treatment. Our cardiology hospital in Haryana houses a great team of doctors that can provide the best treatment and care for the complex web of factors that contribute to recovery. Our heart disease treatment hospital Delhi is highly reputed and known for both state-of-the-art facilities and a team of doctors that care. We have holistic approach to treatment because of multispeciality institution; a cardio psychological approach is followed with the cardiologist and mental health professional’s consultation. We have screening done at cardiac OPD by cardiologist himself who refer the patient further to psychiatrist for managing stress, depression both pre cardiac intervention and post cardiac intervention. As stress, depression can both a cause and result of heart disease. Life style modification is often needed in many smokers and alcoholic patients which is managed by deaddiction by psychiatrist.