Can Heart Disease Affect Your Emotional Health?
Social isolation, loneliness, mental health and heart disease
Mental health and heart disease conditions like anxiety, depression and stress related issues can increase your risk of heart disease. Feeling lonely or being socially isolated can also affect your health putting you at high risk for stroke. Anxiety and depression are common after a heart attack or heart surgery and the effects can be very emotional .
There are many ways you can look after your heart health and mental well-being. This includes talking to your doctor about feeling of anxiety and depression, attending rehabilitation, making lifestyle changes that are healthy for you and most important, stay connected with others.
Heart failure not only causes physical symptoms that have an impact on your well-being, it can also cause feelings and emotions such as anxiety, anger, sadness and depression. By recognizing that these emotions are a normal part of adjusting to your condition, you can take positive steps that can help you feel better.
Heart Disease Affects Health
Mental Health And Heart Disease Risk of Depression and Anxiety
Anxiety is stress and has other effects like releasing adrenaline (anxiety is related to the fight or flight system), but it also leads to stress which leads to trouble with emotional control or happiness. Anxiety is an emotional disorder.
While many people don’t consider anxiety to be an emotion, there is no denying that anxiety emotions are very real. You may feel other emotions like irritability, sadness and anger, anxiety itself represents an emotional state, where you’re prone to these emotional fluxes and living in a general absence of real happiness.
Anxiety Can Lead To Different Types of Emotional Struggles
Reactions Of Anxiety Are A Response To Stress
Despite its bad name, a little bit of infrequent stress can actually have its benefits. Stress is what tells you that you need to do something, make a change. Without at least a little stress, you would never know that you need to drive safely, avoid dark Alleys or over work yourself on a long project.
It’s when that stress becomes overwhelming or chronic that it becomes a real problem. Over the long term, stress changes chemicals in your brain known as neurotransmitters that naturally affect emotional levels. Many of the changes stress makes to your brain are the same changes that would occur if you experienced a sad event, it would lower serotonin levels and potentially lower GABA and neurotransmitters levels.
The brain can also adapt to these levels, to the point where the issues become more chronic. It’s not known why the brain adapts, or how, but scientists and psychologists have known that prolonged stress and sadness can cause long term mental health issues. Basically Anxiety and stress are closely related.
Anxiety And Depression After Heart Surgery
Heart Disease Can Affect Your Emotional Health
Anxiety and depression are the most commonly experienced emotions after heart surgery. Anxiety can be caused in part, by worries about possible physical after effects of the surgery. Keep in mind that full recovery from open-heart surgery can take up to one year.
Patients who experience depression for more than several weeks after open-heart surgery may have something more than a typical post surgical mood change. One way to tell is if a person has difficulty in doing simple, daily tasks like, making the bed, getting dressed or keeping a routine. If an individual was instructed to do certain tasks after the surgery such as exercise, or changing their diet and lifestyle of healthy eating, are they doing them?
Emotional Side Effects Of Open Heart Surgery
Affects of Emotional Changes With Your Mental Health
Emotional changes after heart surgery are not uncommon and neither are periods of irritability and fatigue. Sometimes changes in mood can be caused by medication for surgeries aftermath and not the surgery itself.
If mood changes or swing persist, talk to the doctor that did the procedure right away. Those doctors will have seen these kinds of post-surgical problems before. They’ll be able to help you or advise you to the best possible care.
Symptoms Of Depression After Heart Surgery
It Is Common To Have Depression After Heart Surgery
First, depression after heart surgery is so common that it has its own name: “cardiac depression”. According to the American Heart Association, about 25% of all people that undergo heart surgery will experience depression as a result. Depression is a serious condition that needs attention so that you can find the treatments to cope.
Symptoms of Post surgery depression can be easy to miss because some of them can be similar to the after-effects of the surgery. They include:
1) Excessive sleeping or sleeping more often than usual
3) Loss of interest in activities
5) Anxiety, stress or hopelessness
6) Loss of appetite
Medications and the after effects of surgery can lead to :
1) A loss of appetite
2) Excessive sleeping
If you have emotional symptoms such as hopelessness, agitation, or loss of interest in activities alongside fatigue and a loss of appetite, these may be signs of post-surgery depression. If it lasts longer than 2 weeks, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss depression.
How To Cope With Post-surgery Depression
Don’t Let Depression Keep You Down
1) Make an appointment with your doctor if you think you may have post-surgery depression.
2) Get Outside– A change of scenery and a breath of fresh air may help manage some of those symptoms you have.
3) Focus on the positive– Set positive and realistic goals and celebrate your progress. Goal setting helps you maintain a positive outlook.
4) Focus on Long-Term recovery– Take your time in your healing, no need to rush it, just do what your doctor ordered.
5) Exercise– If the doctor recommended that you exercise, do as much as you can and don’t overdo.
6) Change Your Diet– Eating right may reverse heart disease, now is a good time to start if you haven’t already.
Follow a heart healthy diet:
A healthy diet can help you feel better and manage your weight no matter your size.
It will also provide you withe nutrients your body needs to heal.
Consume: Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy oils such as coconut oil, sesame seed oil, water.
Limit or Avoid: Processed Food, foods with added fat, foods with added sugar, alcoholic drinks
Stay Positive – vent about any frustrations you have, big or small (don’t hold it in).
Stick to healthy habits and form routines, yoga class once a week, a movie in the afternoon, whatever lowers your stress.
Celebrate every single small milestone, each of them are significant.
I want to share a very sincere YouTube Video about “Life-changing Surgery” by Finn Theinvincible, this may enlighten you.
What Should You Do Now?
Mental Health And Heart Disease Risk of Depression
Start by discussing how you are feeling, both physical and mentally, with your healthcare provider. They will be able to direct you to the most appropriate care or provide the best place to start.
You should monitor yourself, especially if you’re dealing with heart disease or stroke. Doctors are going to say, ” Are you smoking? How are your doing with your diet? Are you checking your blood pressure? How’s your mood been? Are you enjoying the same things that used to give you pleasure?” Dr. Jacobs said, “whether someone is clinically depressed or just anxious, they need follow-up care”. By AHA
Cardiovascular disease is a class of diseases that involve the heart blood vessels. CVD includes coronary artery diseases such as angina and myocardial infarction.
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From the heart, Sherry