Depression

Depression is common amongst heart patients. The National Heart Foundation (Australia) reports that after a heart attack or bypass surgery up to 40 percent of patients experience depression (See Here)


What is Depression?

Depression is a condition brought on by both physical and emotional factors. Depression is thought to be associated with an imbalance of chemicals in our brain.

The effect of depression can be debilitating for the person experiencing it and upsetting for those close to them. Depression ranges from a mild form through to chronic and acute depression.

Depression is not just feeling sad. Depression is often accompanied with sleep disturbance, lack of apetite, lethargy and feelings of worthlessness and often a feeling of doom.

While depression occurs in between one third and half of all heart patients, it is often temporary. However depression should not be treated lightly and if your mood interferes with your daily living and well being you should seek assistance from your medical practioner.

Depression Symptoms and Behaviours

See the sidebar for beyondblue's list of common symptoms of Depression.

  • loss of energy
  • lose all interest in usually pleasurable activities
  • loss of appetite
  • eating disorders
  • drinking heavily
  • why bother
  • loss of sex drive
  • sleep difficulties
  • regular crying
  • feeling of hopelessness 
  • feeling of worthlessness
  • poor concentration


Why Depression is important for Heart Patients?

It is important to manage depression as it not only makes our lives difficult but is considered to be a risk factor for future heart events.

There is little evidence to show that depression directly impacts our cardiovascular system. However there is evidence that the behaviours we engage in when depressed significantly increase the risk of future cardiac problems.

When depressed we are more likely to avoid exercise, eat unhealthy food, have disturbed sleep, increase alcohol intake and / or engage in illicit drug taking, all of which increase our probability of future heart problems.


Managing Depression?

See Managing Effects of Depression CLICKING HERE

Further Information and Resources

* beyondblue is an excellent source of information on Stress, Anxiety and Depression

See further details by CLICKING HERE

* If Depression impacts your life speak to your GP. He or she can help assess action to take.



© Len Gould 2013 Heartemotions (Version 1_2)