For years, the two things that contributed to your heart health were diet and exercise. While those two do play a significant role in your heart health, one important factor was missing — your mental health.
Mental Health Affects Your Physical Health (and Vice Versa)
It’s time to stop thinking about “mind and body” as separate entities. Numerous studies have shown that:
- Poor mental health is a risk factor for chronic physical conditions.
- People with serious mental health conditions are at high risk of experiencing chronic physical conditions.
- People with chronic physical conditions are at a greater risk of developing poor mental health.
Anxiety, Depression, and Your Heart
Though mental health conditions are not a direct cause of heart disease, they were recently identified as new risk factors for coronary artery disease.
If someone is chronically depressed, they’re more likely to spend long periods of time in bed, have an unhealthy diet, avoid social interaction, suffer certain vitamin deficiencies. Together, this greatly increases their chances of heart disease and heart attack.
However, mental health doesn’t just affect your behaviors or lifestyle — it can have a direct affect on internal organs and muscles. Someone with chronic anxiety is more likely to experience rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and decreased heart rate variability, just to name a few.
The Psychological Impacts of a Heart Attack
A heart attack can affect a lot more than just your heart. Previously mentally healthy people who have suffered heart attacks have reported:
Methodist Hospital of Southern California offers the latest diagnostic and treatment services. Our highly qualified Chest Pain Team is available 24 hours a day to evaluate and relieve chest pain quickly. Whether you are having a heart attack or believe you are at a high risk of heart disease, our team is ready to perform a thorough examination and help you make critical changes that give patients a second chance at life.
- Mood swings
- Feelings of depression
- A sense of uncertainty, particularly about the future
- Feeling guilty about past habits that may have increased their risk of a heart attack
- Shame or embarrassment