Depression breaks your heart

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It’s not just about being sad. Depression can break your heart. 

Depression can be dangerous to someone who has had a heart attack and untreated depression can increase the risk of another attack. 

Since ancient times the brain has been regarded as the seat of the intellect and the heart as the seat of the emotions. This was probably deduced from the fact that our hearts beat more quickly when we’re excited or upset.

Most people are unaware that as many as a quarter of all patients who suffer from ischemic heart disease (narrowed coronary arteries), suffer from depression.

This means  that people in this group are twice as likely to develop depression as the rest of the population. The opposite is also true: people who suffer from depression have a greater chance of having a heart attack.

Depression can therefore “break your heart”. The problem is that people who have heart disease are not often diagnosed as suffering from depression; this is because the connection between the two conditions is not generally known.

Although heart patients are usually asked about their lifestyle and exercise, eating and smoking habits, an evaluation of the person’s state of mind is not part of the routine.

Help your heart
A combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy can significantly improve depression. One of the most important steps to prevent a second heart attack is to stop smoking. If you’ve had a heart attack before, you may need professional therapy. After a heart attack patients should receive counselling about the effect it may have on their state of mind so treatment can be made available in time if necessary


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