Heart Disease and Depression

Depression and heart disease can happen at the same time. Additionally, depression that lasts longer than a couple of weeks can lead to certain behaviors, such as abusing alcohol or not sleeping, which can put heart health at risk. The good news is that staying mentally healthy can help your heart, and staying heart-healthy through diet, physical activity, and other behaviors can help prevent or lessen depression!

Use these tips for good mental and heart health throughout your life:
  • See a professional. If you have any of the symptoms of depression, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. If you have been diagnosed with a heart problem, talk to your doctor about any feelings of depression you have. Your doctor can talk to you about medicines and healthy living habits that can help both your heart and your mental health. Treating depression can help your heart health in the long term and improve your quality of life.
  • Stay physically active. Physical activity boosts your mood and keeps your blood vessels healthy and strong. Studies show that exercise may be very effective in reducing symptoms of depression. Click here for physical activity resources from CDC. 
  • Watch what you eat and drink. Ever drown your sorrows in a big bowl of ice cream? When you’re feeling down, it’s easy to reach for your favorite comfort food. But thinking about your heart health is important, even when you’re not feeling too chipper. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. Avoid foods that may raise your blood pressure or keep you from sleeping at night, such as caffeine, foods high in sodium (salt), and alcohol. A healthy diet may go a long way in helping manage stress and control blood pressure.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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