Depression is known as a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks. This is because depression can increase your stress levels and fuel unhealthy behaviors such as poor diet and lack of exercise.
But this doesn’t mean you have no control over your cardiovascular health. In fact, a 2016 study by Intermountain Medical Center found that treating depression can actually reduce a patient’s risk for cardiovascular conditions.
How can depression treatment reduce heart risks?
According to the Intermountain Medical Center study, effective treatment for depression has shown to improve patients’ heart health in the short term and long term. Researchers analyzed the information of 7,550 patients who completed two depression questionnaires over the course of two years.
The study found that patients who were no longer depressed had the same risk rate of developing heart problems (4.6%) as those without depression at all (4.8%).
But those who experienced long-term depression or whose symptoms worsened over the two-year period had an increased risk rate for major cardiovascular problems (6.4%).
Researchers said the study shows effective treatment for depression can help to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular problems in the short term, not just the long term. But what type of treatment the patients received for their depression is unknown.
Additional results from the same study found that depression symptoms can also impact the changes in the body. These changes can cause heart problems in the short term.
How can I improve my heart health?
Although it isn’t known what treatments for depression work best for reducing the risk for cardiovascular problems, it’s still a good idea to seek treatment for your depression.
Psychiatric care for depression can help to reduce symptoms, which can improve your heart health. Some of the most common and effective treatments for depression and depression symptoms include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Art therapy
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
Many people suffering from depression find it helpful to be on medication while also receiving therapy. The medication can help patients manage their symptoms so they’re able to work with their psychologist.
Where can I find an acute psychiatric hospital that fits my needs?
The number of patients diagnosed with depression increases every year by 20%. If you’re looking for an acute psychiatric hospital in Indiana for neuropsychiatric programs, recreational therapy, or occupational therapy, NeuroPsychiatric Hospitals is the place for you. To learn more about our neuropsychiatric programs and our psychiatric care, contact NeuroPsychiatric Hospitals today for more information.