Welcome to new and returning blog visitors! I am exploring topics related to women’s mental health on this blog, and welcome your suggestions, questions, and responses.
This week I’d like to discuss the incredible interaction between the heart and the mind.
Researchers have found that the mood has a big influence on heart disease. After a heart attack, 20 to 30% of people develop depression. Those who get depressed have a worse outcome for their heart disease including higher mortality rates. Treatment of their depression improves their outcome for heart disease as well as their mood.
So heart disease can cause depression. Can depression cause heart attacks?
It seems so. Studies have found that people with depression have much higher risks for heart attack. Even mild forms of depression increase the risk for heart disease. Women have twice the risk for depression compared to men.
Think about that. There is a physical connection between the heart and the mind. Taking care of yourself emotionally and spiritually can potentially help your heart as well. If you are depressed, getting treatment for your depression can protect you from heart disease. That treatment may consist of therapy and/or medication such as antidepressants.
The good news is that effective treatments are available that can simultaneously help your mood and your heart!