Los Angeles Area Mental Health & Wellness
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Being aware of the connections: Depression and Anxiety and Cardiovascular Diseases

Those who experience cardiac issues or stroke tend to be at greater risk for experiencing depression and anxiety. Research today is showing us that this is due to the mind body connection, the physiological and biological relationships that the body’s system experiences during such significant medical events. On the physiological and biological front the key factors appear to be “increased stress hormones, higher levels of cortisol and higher glucose levels“. Some of the contributing behavioral factors are due to inactivity, smoking and limited stress reduction and coping skills. Psychologically, it should not come as a surprise that someone is 33% more likely to struggle with depression after a heart attack; this makes logical sense as few other systems are as strongly connected to our sense of mortality.

For those who struggle with depression while also experiencing there are ways to make these difficult times more manageable.

Communication with your treatment providers is key. Although it is a common occurrence it to have depression and anxiety it isn’t something that should occur or ‘normal’ to experience. There is treatment that is effective and addressing your mental health along with the physical health is essential in overall health management. Anti-depressants have been shown to be one of several treatments to address depression and anxiety.

Behavioral changes. When experiencing depression your brain and ongoing thought process easily go to the negative. Addressing the negative thought process can be a key tool in being able to manage stress. These changes are useful to manage the physiological and biological changes that the body experiences. Other important behavioral changes may include improved lifestyle choices such as dietary intake, increasing physical activity and quitting smoking.
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