If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the importance of maintaining our overall health. The truth is there are multiple interconnections of various parts of our wellness. As a greater emphasis is being put on mental health, it’s important to know that even your thoughts and emotions can have a direct impact on your physical health. Let’s take a look at how mental health and cardiac health overlap.
Anxiety and Depression
If you’re looking for someone to talk to and provide a safe space, you may want to look into the psychotherapy options in your area. You can Google something like “best therapist in Charlotte, NC” to look into the mental health services in your area. This will allow you to delve into a variety of treatments. You may opt for something like cognitive behavioral therapy, where licensed physicians can help determine the things that trigger certain behaviors and feelings. This is a recommended treatment plan when it comes to dealing with conditions like anxiety and depression.
Depression has been linked to heart disease. Varying levels of anxiety and stress have proven in recent years to be more of a risk factor for cardiac conditions. Stress can increase hormones like adrenaline that directly impact blood pressure and heart rate. People experiencing depression and even PTSD over a long period of time may experience certain physiologic effects on the body. This includes reduced blood flow to the heart, which, over time, can lead to calcium buildup in the arteries and other metabolic health conditions.
People living with mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder, find that their mood affects both psychological and mental well-being daily. Cardiologists will recommend addressing mental health connected to certain medical conditions. The truth is the symptoms of some ailments can weigh on a person emotionally. This results in conditions like depression, which leads to fatigue and an effective shutdown of the body. You can’t get yourself moving and find yourself just lying in bed, reducing circulation and blood flow from not being nearly as active throughout the day.
Mental health disorders have also been linked to patients adopting behaviors such as smoking, inactive lifestyles, or failure to take medications as prescribed by a medical care team. This is because people experiencing mental health difficulties may have fewer healthy coping strategies for stressful situations. You may have noticed that you have trouble breathing in stressful or anxiety-riddled situations. Finding the cause of this trigger can better promote cardiological and pulmonary health. Not finding the trigger can make it hard to make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of heart disease or other medical conditions.
Other Cardiac Issues
Medical treatments may be needed to address more severe symptoms. One heart-related condition that has gained attention is myocarditis. Myocarditis is a disease that causes inflammation of the heart muscle. This has gained notoriety recently as a medical condition that has resulted from testing positive for COVID-19. The symptoms of myocarditis can include heart palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain and pressure. The mental stigma of myocarditis can sometimes aggravate symptoms to appear like those of an anxiety attack.
Healthy lifestyle changes can promote better heart health after being diagnosed with myocarditis, the same way behavioral changes can impact your mental health. Depression, anxiety, and PTSD have been linked to heart failure, stroke, and heart attack for certain patients. In some cases, patients have experienced the symptoms of those psychological conditions when triggered by a life-changing event. The truth is that dealing with severe complications of health issues, even mental, can impact the heart’s ability to function properly. Be sure to consider your overall treatment plan from top to bottom to better yourself entirely.