05-27 Depression in heart patients needs proper treatment: Study

Posted in Depression, Stress

Depression in heart patients needs proper treatment: Study

Depression and stress can affect a person’s mind and body, but if the problems afflict someone who is dealing with a heart ailment, the condition can be life-threatening. Depression in heart patients is rarely looked upon as a serious issue, and they hardly receive any exclusive treatment for depression.

A recent study by the Karolinska Institute, Sweden highlighted this grave issue, saying that despite depression being significantly common in heart attack patients, it was not given due attention and only a few patients received treatment for depression in conjunction with the treatment for heart disease.

Patients with depressive symptoms at double risk of heart attack

Previous studies have shown that depression can be a risk factor for a wide range of heart-related disorders. Lead researcher of the study Dr. Barbro Kjellström analyzed 805 patients, who were below 75 years of age and had survived the first heart attack, and compared them with the control group comprising 805 people in the same age group but without any heart ailment. The participants were then judged on parameters related to stress, depression and exhaustion based on a questionnaire pertaining to the level of stress in their daily lives.

The findings revealed that as high as 14 percent of heart patients experienced visible depressive symptoms in comparison to only 7 percent of controls. Most notably, the patients showing symptoms of depression or exhaustion were at an increased risk – almost double– of suffering a heart attack. And the type of stress in these patients was primarily concerned with stressful situations at home and at work.

But what was most alarming was the fact that despite heart attack being regarded as a serious health issue and its deep-rooted connection with stress well-understood by all, only a small number of patients – 16 percent – received antidepressants, while 42 percent of controls with only depression received a thorough treatment.

“Our results suggest that heart attack patients are undertreated with antidepressants. When we looked at the participants who had experienced depression we saw that more than twice as many controls as patients were prescribed antidepressant medication. We did not ask about cognitive therapies but it’s unlikely that the large gap in treatment was filled in this way,” said Dr. Kjellström.

Highlighting the need for a proper management of depression, the researchers claimed that a majority of patients either don’t seek treatment for stress and related symptoms and even if they do approach a caregiver, they are not given pertinent solution to quick fix their mental stress and the resulting depression.

Who is at risk?

Nearly one in five American adults (43.8 million) experiences a mental health disorder each year, as per a 2015 report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Studies have shown that every day stress and anxiety takes a toll on one’s health leading to a wide variety of deformities, sometimes in the form of serious illnesses like heart attack.

If a loved one who had a recent heart attack experiences one or more of the following symptoms, it is time to seek an expert advice:

  • Lack of interest in activities that once attracted them, including hobbies, social activities and public meetings
  • Feeling of helplessness as though nothing is going to ever change in life or the worse is still to come
  • Physical weakness and loss of energy with a constant feeling of fatigue, sluggishness and exhaustion
  • Violent behavior as a result of low tolerance levels

Path to recovery

Most of the mental illnesses can be treated, but it must be well understood that no treatment works for everyone. This means that many people who experience mental stress can be treated completely, but in most cases it is difficult to decide the type of treatment to be used.

Most people are usually unable to get over mental disorders without professional help. If you or your loved one is dealing with any mental health issue, the Depression Treatment Centers of California is here to connect you with the treatment you need. Our experts available at the 24/7 helpline number 855-678-0400 can help you with the necessary information on rehab centers for depression in California. Get in touch with a representative today to learn more about the best mental health treatment centers in California.


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