Mental Health and Heart Disease
There lies a mostly unknown fact that those who suffer a mental illness are at a higher risk for a cardiovascular disease. The reason for this is simple, as has been shown through many research studies, those who are going through depression and anxiety overall have an unhealthy lifestyle. As hygiene and overall wellness of the body decreases, the risk of severe cardiovascular diseases such as Heart Attacks and Coronary Artery Disease increases.
Depression is extremely common among people who also have heart disease. Heart attack patients who also suffer from depression have less motivation to comply with medications. They may turn to harmful activities such as drinking alcohol or smoking. Suffering from a heart attack can also lead to much anxiety in one's life. For example, victims may feel less confident or angered because they have less mobility to carry out daily activities which were possible in the past.
Currently, there is a large overlap in symptoms between depression and heart disease such as tiredness or low energy. This makes it very difficult for doctors to diagnose depression in patients with heart disease.
At VitArbr, we believe education is key. We push for doctors to screen for mental illnesses such as depression through surveys or interviews during a patient's first visit for cardiovascular disease. Following that, we believe that screening should take place a yearly interval following a major event such as a heart attack.