Boston, MA (PRWEB) December 05, 2013
Heart disease triples a person's risk of depression. At the same time, people who have from depression are at greatly increased risk of heart disease. Untreated depression makes it more likely that a person will die of heart disease, yet it's often overlooked, reports the December 2013 Harvard Heart Letter.
Depression is just as treatable in people with heart disease as it is in the general population. But it doesn't go away all by itself. Getting treatment means learning the warning signs and, if they appear, finding out from your doctor what they mean.
How do you know if you're depressed? "A person who has a major heart event has ups and downs of energy and mood," says Dr. Jeffery C. Huffman, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. "But those who feel mostly bad for most of the day for weeks or months, who lose the ability to enjoy life, these are the people we are talking about."
There are a number of good treatments for depression, and having heart disease does not make treatment more difficult.
Antidepressants. Most are safe to take with most heart medications. Sertraline (Zoloft ) has been studied extensively in people with heart conditions and, like other antidepressants in its class, it's been shown to be both safe and effective.
Psychotherapy. Several kinds of therapy are effective. "There are no side effects from psychotherapy, it can be individualized, and people can be taught new skills to battle depression—not just now, but in the future," says Dr. Huffman.
Exercise. An exercise program may be effective as an antidepressant in
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