Mental health has been one of the neglected areas of medicine. Whenever one visits a cardiologist, its common to get advice on weight, diet and exercise. But rarely does the physician speak on mental health and its effects on the heart.
Multiple studies have studied the relation ship between mental health and heart disease, in particular coronary artery disease.
Its been found that acute mental illness like Depression and long term stress like anxiety, work related stress, panic attacks can have a bad effect on cardiac health.
Individuals with serious mental illnesses like depression, bipolar mood disorders and schizophrenia have increased incidence of obesity, altered dietary habits and eventually increased incidence of coronary artery disease. Also long term mild problems like anxiety and work related stress cause an increase in heart disease problems.
Also patients with heart attacks who develop depression later fare badly in the long term when compared to ones without depression.
Its imperative for the Cardiologist to look for mental disorders and its symptoms in their patients to prevent and treat these disorders in the early stage.
Some general guidelines to improve mental health:
Walk/ exercise everyday. Exercise is a great mood elevator and stress buster. Walking half hour a day at a brisk pace can have profound effect on physical and mental health.
Eat well. Eating every 2-3 hours in small portions keep the mind satiated. One can avoid binge eating which is associated with stress and anxiety.
Meditate daily for 15 minutes. Just sitting still and breathing slowly with one concentrating on his/her breath relaxes one’s body and mind.
Be more social. Go out and make friends. Spend time with your relatives.
Always think positive.
So, Stay Happy and Heart Healthy!