Anxiety and Depression could be Linked to Heart Disease

Heart attack
Photo: Collected

People with anxiety and depression are four times more likely to have problems with their hearts or blood vessels.

Experts from the UNAM’s Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health came to this conclusion. They also say that stress is definitely a cause of acute myocardial infarction or coronary spasm, that is, temporary and sudden narrowing of one of the coronary arteries that supply blood and oxygen to that organ, specialists agreed.

Heart and blood vessel diseases kill more people than anything else in the world. These happen when the heart is damaged for biological reasons, which can sometimes be caused by genes and sometimes by a person’s way of life and the risks that come with it, like the kind of activities they do.

From these, you can tell the difference between real and “felt” emergencies. For example, chest pain can make us think we have a heart problem, but a cabinet or laboratory diagnosis will tell you if you do. But when the symptoms aren’t known, like in this case, the mental and emotional part still works.

Cardiovascular disease is not psychosomatic in and of itself, but some of its symptoms can be.

There is sometimes post-traumatic stress after intensive coronary therapy. Patients come to a psychiatric consultation after being in the hospital, remembering the catheterization and how close they came to dying. They need follow-up care for this. Twenty to twenty-five percent of people get depressed in the first month. Also, if the patient shows signs of anxiety or depression that aren’t picked up, it’s likely that they won’t take their medications as prescribed.

“What goes on in the mind of a person who, even though he knows he has a disease, would rather “die happy” and eat whatever he wants than change his diet? Karla Vanessa Garca Mejorado, a psychiatrist and FM professor, said, “Many of my patients are anxious, depressed, and don’t have many people to turn to for help. They need the doctor to give them information and show them compassion.”

The silent enemy

Over the course of a person’s life, risks build up that can lead to a cardiovascular event or disease, such as a heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmias, or a number of other conditions that can kill.

Some people with high blood pressure don’t have any symptoms, while others don’t have high blood pressure but, because of stress, develop a hyperreactive condition that makes them more likely to have high blood pressure. In the long run, this hyperreactivity leads to cardiovascular disease.

The condition known as “broken heart disease” is often brought on by stress, which can lead to heart failure.

Also, physical deterioration and heart disease are worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic to the point where a person has a greater number of infectious processes.

High levels of cholesterol or fats in the blood (dyslipidemia), obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, genetic factors, and changes to the endocrinology all add up to cause cardiovascular disease. But this can lead to mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

In these conditions, substances in the brain change in a way that causes inflammation. The release of cortisol and adrenaline affects the health of the heart and blood vessels by, for example, causing the coronary arteries to narrow, which can lead to a heart attack.

When serotonin levels are high, platelets stick together more and the risk of thrombus formation goes up. This is why people with high serotonin levels may have a myocardial infarction or other heart disease.

Taking care of your heart and mind as a whole is important because your heart and brain may affect each other.

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