Over the years, researches have shown that the connection between mental and heart health go beyond behavioral patterns.
Some recent studies found a link between our mental, emotional, or psychological state with certain physiological effects on the heart. Reports from the American Heart Association present that biological and chemical factors influencing mental health problems can also trigger heart issues. Here are some warning signs that should alert you:

Depression and Health Issues

Depression, in its most severe case, isn’t just increasing the risk of heart disease. It can also worsen an existing condition. In fact, those diagnosed with clinical depression are thrice as likely to have coronary artery diseases or heart attack.

If you or a loved one has symptoms of depression, go see a doctor as soon as possible. If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, make sure that–along with your medication for depression–you also start practicing healthy heart habits. These include a healthy diet, regular exercise, proper stress management, and regular rest and relaxation.

Data from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) say that 65% of men and women with a demonstrated history of heart attacks have experienced varying levels of depression. In addition, heart patients have increased chances of spiraling into depression, which can contribute to the risks of complications like heart attack or stroke.

Depression is also known to strike patients after they undergo invasive procedures like open-heart surgery.

Bad Habits

Those who are depressed or have some other form of mental illness may engage in risky habits or behaviors. Such habits and behaviors may also impact their heart health.

For example, those who are depressed may overeat and become obese or overweight.  Or they may lose their appetite–even starve themselves. They may also become too depressed and lose motivation to exercise regularly.  These behaviors may eventually cause complications that harm the heart.

Other mentally ill persons may engage in substance abuse like smoking, consuming too much alcohol (some become alcoholics), or even using illegal drugs. A lot of times they abuse these substances as forms of self- medication (consciously or unconsciously) to control symptoms of depression, bipolar, anxiety disorder, etc.  Substance abuse will also, over the long term, harm the heart.

This shows that we cannot take mental and physical health for granted. Living a healthy lifestyle means taking care of our entire self: body and mind, heart and soul.

As cliché as it may sound, prevention is still so much better than cure. Know that leading a healthy lifestyle is well worth your time and attention. ManilaMed’s Heart Station can help you keep your heart in good shape. For more details, visit ManilaMed’s website or call (02) 523 81 31 loc 2501/ (02) 522 1913.