DEPRESSION AND YOUR HEART
Depressed men are three times more likely to develop heart disease. So say researchers from the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, who suggest a number of possible explanations for the link. Simply put depression affects your heart.
Depression may lead to unhealthy lifestyles, like not exercising or smoking more, which can increase strain on the cardio-vascular system. Being depressed impacts on the nervous system, with a knock-on effect on the heart, and can alter the balance of chemicals in the body. It is also thought that some antidepressant drugs can also pose problems.
The reason that the link between depression and heart disease appears to only exist in men is unclear, although men seem to be more sensitive to chemical changes in the body. Conversely, the study also found that men with heart disease had an increased chance of depression after developing heart disease.
Scientists also question whether doctors are less likely to recognise or diagnose depression in men unless it appears to be particularly severe. If you have any of the symptoms of depression – prolonged sadness, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, altered appetite, insomnia – it’s vital that you see your doctor. Depression is a serious illness, but one that responds well to treatment.
Treatment for depression
Living with depression can be difficult, but treatment can help improve your quality of life. Talk to your healthcare provider about possible options.
You may successfully manage symptoms with one form of treatment, or you may find that a combination of treatments works best.
It’s common to combine medical treatments and lifestyle therapies, including the following:
Your healthcare provider may prescribe:
- antipsychotic medications
Each type of medication that’s used to treat depression has benefits and potential risks.
Speaking with a therapist can help you learn skills to cope with negative feelings. You may also benefit from family or group therapy sessions.
In conclusion if you suffer from depression, see your doctor. It can be a dangerous condition. Remember depression affects your heart.
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