Heart complications are a leading cause of death in most areas around the world, especially America. Chronic stress, cholesterol, obesity, substance abuse, and more are cited as bad influences on good heart health. The heart is the most important organ to the human body. Having a heart beat is an indication of life- without a heartbeat, we simply are not alive. Keeping the heart healthy and trying to sustain it in healthy ways to increase longevity is an essential part of health that most people overlook. Addicts and alcoholics who spend years abusing substances put themselves at risk for increased heart damage. New research reveals that depression, a commonly co-occurring mental health disorder with substance use disorders, might be a leading cause of heart problems as well. Depression can feel like heartbreak when the symptoms of hopelessness, sadness, melancholy, and lack of motivation are involved. Often, people who become depressed cease to eat healthy, eat in a balanced manner, or exercise. There is typically a significant change in weight and lifestyle which can be damaging to the heart.
Fox News reports that a recent German study observed the heart health and mental health of over 3,000 European men. 15% of those who had cardiovascular and coronary heart disease deaths had depression. Up to 21% of those additionally had high cholesterol and obesity with depression. Two other factors contributed to a higher amount of deaths: smoking and high blood pressure. Smoking can be an activity for depression as it creates habit and the nicotine creates a sense of relief. High blood pressure can be genetic but also caused by alcoholism or drug abuse, depending on what might be co-occurring with depression.
Screenings for mental health and heart health are not practices which usually coincide. Patients who display symptoms of depression should be screened for heart health and vice versa. In treatment for mental health disorders and co-occurring substance use disorders, great focus is given to physical health through nutrition, diet, exercise, and wellness. Recovery is about more than getting sober- it’s about healing mind, body, and spirit.
Everything we offer in our residential treatment programs at Harmony Place is designed to help you regain your life and live it in the healthiest possible way. If you or a loved one are struggling with depression or substance abuse call us today for private consultation and more information on our programs: 1-855-652-9048.