February 2018

Heart Health & Depression

Scheduling Downtime

Physical & Mental Health Connection

Heart Health & Depression

When someone is diagnosed with heart disease, his or her physical health is the immediate concern. But, as recovery begins, it’s important to monitor the patient's mental health, too.

Depression affects between seven to ten percent of all adults ages 18 and older. But when you start looking at those with heart disease, that number is much higher. Studies show that up to 30 percent of patients with heart disease experience depression.
The biggest hurdle to treating depression is recognizing that someone is suffering from it. The American Heart Association recommends that everyone with heart disease be screened for depression with two simple questions:
  1. During the past month, have you frequently felt down, depressed or hopeless?
  2. During the past month, have you felt little interest or pleasure in doing things?
Depression can make physical problems worse. That’s why it is important for heart patients to be proactive about getting treatment. Counseling, medication or a combination of both are effective ways of treating depression.

If you or a loved one has heart disease, talk to your health care providers about your mental health. Early intervention is crucial for patients with heart disease. Treatment can improve quality of life. It’s also good for your heart. 

Build Downtime into Your Schedule

When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends. Schedule your downtime as carefully as you schedule your workday. Remember to treat your loved ones as if they matter just as much as the most important businessperson in the world. When you put your downtime in your schedule, you are far more likely to honor it.

Physical & Mental Health Connection 
You know exercise is good for your physical health. It's also good for your mental health. Exercise is a powerful antidote to stress, anxiety and depression. Look for small ways to add activity to your day. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or go on a short walk. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.
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