Believe it or not depression can be bad for your heart health and put you at a higher risk for heart disease. Heart disease refers to a number of illnesses that affect your heart health and surrounding blood vessels. Here is some information about depression and how it can be linked to heart disease.

1.   Moderate to severe depression can put a person at a 40% higher risk for heart disease. Some signs of depression are anxiety, being tired all the time, difficulty falling asleep, aches and pains that do not get better with treatment, and loss of appetite, to name a few.

2.   Stress is bad for your heart health and depression is known to increase a person’s levels of stress hormones. This can cause inflammation, which is a common risk factor for heart disease.

3.   Studies have shown that people with heart disease are more likely to suffer from depression.

4.   Angina and heart attacks have been linked with depression. This is because some of the symptoms of depression can lower a person’s overall heart health.

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5.   Fatigue and certain feelings that depression may cause can actually cause a person to ignore their treatment for heart disease, causing other or more severe heart problems.

6.   Having depression can increase a person’s risk for death after a heart attack.

7.   Treating your depression can actually improve your heart health and lower your risk for heart disease.

8.   You can help treat your depression by eating healthier foods, exercising, drinking less alcohol, and quitting smoking, which can all also help improve your heart health.

9.   Regular exercise has shown to be just as effective as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), which can improve the symptoms of depression.

10.   Other ways to treat depression are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is talk therapy to help turn negative thoughts that create depression, into positive thoughts. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) are both forms of antidepressant medications.