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."
To continue reading this article, you must login
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.