Should Maine residents who are also heart patients be screened regularly for depression? According to the American Heart Association, depression is about three times more common in heart attack survivors and those hospitalized with heart problems than the general population.
While there has been no direct evidence that heart patients who are also screened for depression fare better, depression can result in a worse quality of life and worse outcomes for Mainers. Those patients with depression may be more likely to skip their medications, not take part in rehabilitation programs, or not diet and exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It is vital that heart patients make lifestyle changes that promote long, healthy lives. If depression is underlying and untreated, this will inhibit the person’s ability to properly care for themselves as they should.
Maine heart patients should be screened regularly by their doctors for depression. If depression is found to be present, here are positive steps Mainers can take:
- Ask your doctor for a referral to professional qualified in treating depression.
- Call a support groups that to join.
- Ask your doctor about an anti-depressant regime to help with extreme or persisting symptoms.
Mainers who suffer from depression shouldn’t lose their physical health while waiting to recover their mental health.
By Eliza Stoll for Briggs & Wholey
Copyright 2008 Briggs & Wholey