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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.