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Depression and Heart Disease

Everyone feels a little down now and then. But people with heart disease are at greater risk for serious depression—and, unfortunately, many of them don’t know it. If not treated, depression can make you more likely to have future heart problems.

Know the symptoms

Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether you are depressed or just feeling blue. Here are some symptoms to watch for:

  • Feeling sad or anxious

  • Feeling guilty, helpless, or worthless

  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities that you enjoyed in the past

  • Feeling hopeless

  • Having less energy or feeling tired

  • Too little or too much sleeping 

  • Having trouble concentrating or making typical daily decisions

  • Changes in appetite or weight

  • Feeling irritable or restless

  • Thoughts of suicide or death

If you have most or all of these symptoms every day for at least 2 weeks, you may have depression.

You can get help

If you have symptoms of depression, talk with your healthcare provider. They may refer you to a counselor or other mental health specialist. Your healthcare provider may also prescribe medicine for your depression. A combination of counseling and medicine can be helpful in treating depression.

Studies have shown that exercise can also be helpful in treating depression. And getting regular exercise such as walking is also a great way to keep your heart healthy.

Crisis care

If you have thoughts of harming yourself, get help right away. If you're at immediate risk, call or text the National Suicide Lifeline at 988 When you call or text 988, you will be connected to trained crisis counselors. They will link you to the care you need.

This hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also reach it at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255). An online chat option is also available at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

This resource provides immediate crisis intervention and information on local resources. It's free and confidential. 

Other help

If there is no immediate risk, call your healthcare provider or seek help online. Here is another resource:

  • National Institute of Mental Health. Visit their website at www.nimh.nih.gov to learn more about depression.

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Paul Ballas MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2022
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