Depression and Heart Disease

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Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 3/30/2005 8:58 PM (GMT -7)   
 
While reading through some posts here, I found that several people have mentioned depression at one time or another. 
 
I have depression.
 
I've never suffered from depression in my whole life, not even when I had my Heart Attack in 1998.  In 2003 after being fatigued and just not 'feeling right' I was diagnosed with heart failure and a few months later, to my surprise, the diagnosis of Depression.
 
I felt so low and cried a lot and basically could have stayed in bed all the time, something that was not usual in the past for me.  So when I went to see my cardiologist I was diagnosed by him and my PCP (primary care physician) as having depression.  I can honestly say, I knew I was feeling 'bad', but I couldn't put a name to it.  All I know is that I felt very very bad and just seemed incapable of helping myself feel better!
 
They put me on Lexapro, which is an antidepressant and since then I've been doing fine! yeah
 
I'm hoping my story helps a little bit, and I've added a couple of sites for you to read as well.
 
Please feel free to jump in here and tell me if this ever happened to you?  If it did were you treated?  Are you still being treated? 
 
Teri  tongue
 
 
http://familydoctor.org/702.xml
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 4/3/2005 8:23 PM (GMT -7)   
On another post someone brought up the subject of depression again, so I thought I'd bump this back up for ya'll to read!

Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas


vinny1957
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 4/3/2005 8:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Depression can slow healing as well. Everyone with heart trouble I believe has it at one time or another. I try relaxation and meditation when I'm down.

ChevyAsylum
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 4/3/2005 9:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I believe I've battled with depression most of my life...but it wasn't until the 70s that it became something that was common knowledge. I started taking different antidepressants in my 30s and 40s...but since I was drinkin heavily at the time the results were inconclusive. When I stopped drinking in 1992, I really felt the depression. But I thought it was just part of learning to live without alcohol. And I dealt with it the best I could for 5 years. Then I had my first heart attack. The doctors told me that I might experience depression as a part of the aftermath. I didn't want to take any medications that I didn't have to, so I "toughed it out"...for about 6 months.

Then one nice sunny day, I was working on one of my cars, having a great time, feeling pretty good. The next thing I knew I was sitting on the sidewalk, crying like a baby. I'd gone into a depressive spiral in a matter of minutes. After things like this happened a few times I finally gave in and went back to the doctor...and admitted defeat. I told him that I'd tried everything I knew to deal with it, including positive mental attitude, active interests in hobbies, prayer and meditation...and I was whipped. He said that it would probably be a good idea to try some medication. After trying a few different anti-depressants, we settled on a low dose of Prozac: 20mg. I've been on that ever since. I've tried to "get off it" several times for different reasons. My darlin bride tells me that if I try it again, the's gonna put me outta my own misery first. :)

Seriously, it's been very effective for me. Not only has it helped with "the blues" (not to be confused with the blues that I love to play on the bass), but it's also helped me to decrease the level of irritability that I always seemed to have. Things don't get to me nearly as much as they used to. Makes my wife's life a lot more pleasant...and mine, too.

I don't foresee wanting to stop taking the Prozac (Fluxuotine in generic form) in the future. It's actually been very good for me.

Now since the quad bypass, people have been watching me closely for signs of depression. I can say that with one exception (which was a "meltdown" that was probably due more to external stimulus than internal) I think I've made it this 6 months past the surgery without any significant depression.

Another thing...winters are real hard for me. But I've tried to occupy myself with other things this past winter (music, web pages, email, making plans for the spring, etc.) And it's worked. I have a close friend who goes thru the "seasonal affective disorder" thing, too (We just used to call it the winter blues.) He's done exactly the same thing: music, arts, writing, performance...now that spring is around the corner he's making plans to get his cars to run faster. All of these things helped both of us to get through what could otherwise have been a very difficult winter...with a minimum of difficulty. Yeah, we've had some days that weren't the greatest...but neither one of us ended up curled up in a ball under the bed...which could possibly have happened on a real bad day.

So for me, depression is a VERY complex subject. Part of it seems to run in my family. Part of it is seasonal. Part of it is related to the heart trouble. And it's virtually impossible to separate them out. Ohh...and then there's the VALID "down in the dumps" feelings...like when you get denied for disability on a technicality. To me, that was different than depression..especially since I came out of my corner ready to fight the next round and escalated the hostilities to the next level (state labor commission, lawyer, etc.) That one is still goin on. But it ain't eatin my lunch.

I don't know if this narrative has helped or not. But it's the only story I got, so I'm stickin to it.

Btw...a wonderful thing happened yesterday...and today. I finally got the new tailgate installed on my old Ugly Truck (that had been on the burner since January) and this morning (after really workin hard yesterday) I woke up with very little pain and blood pressure of 126/77. No nitro (all day), only a coupla Advil...and I also bought a treadmill so I can start following the doctor's orders to walk. But now I can do it while I'm watching auto racing on video tape and not get bored outta my skull. I guess I can read while on it, too like I did in Cardiac Rehab 8 years ago. For $100 I got a used low-end treadmill....which is all I need...and since I busted my butt to get it downstairs this evening, I'll start the walking (complete with record keeping) tomorrow.

Sorry for the ramble, but I guess I had a lot that I wanted to say. :)
Ray

ChevyAsylum.com


gain
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 4/4/2005 3:50 AM (GMT -7)   
To date, I have been lucky in that I haven't needed medication to deal with the "blues". I think that alot of the depression associated with CAD and heart disease is due to chemical imbalances. I haven't taken alot of meds for my heart problem. Recently, I was put on Amiodarone. I read about the side effects associated with taking this drug and noticed that there are alot of neurological things that can happen. So maybe my turn is coming. If it happens it happens and I won't be too proud to get some help for it.

It is unfortunate that part of the post operative care that goes along with Cad isn't more time devoted to warning people about depression. After reading lots of posts and threads on these forums, the use of anti-depressants is definitely in the majority. The common denominator is always Heart Disease and lots of other heart meds. The medical community for the most part does an excellent job of treating our hearts, but the biggest part of recovering from heart procedures and heart disease in mental. My own team of specialist and even my PCP has never once asked about the mental part of it. Not in almost two years.

So, if and when, I know that I am spiraling out of control or am told I am, I will definitely get help. My wife and I have spent ours talking about my heart and the problems associated with it. About the effect that it plays on the two of us and also to my family. She has read about the warning signs of depression and has promised to speak up if she starts to notice them in me.

Steve
I had a massive heart attack on May 4, 2003.  I didn't know it at the time, this was my second.  Thru the course of diagnosis while in ER and catheterization it was determined that I had 3 arteries 100% blocked, 1 artery at 98% blocked and 1 artery at about 85% blocked.  I was told that if I didn't get to surgery within 30 minutes I was dead.  I was raced by ambo to a sister hospital and in surgery within 20 minutes.  After surgery I had oxygenation problems and was in ICU for 5 days.  During that time I was told that the front of my heart didn't make it and that I was going to have a future problem with cardiomyopathy because of the strain the back of my heart would be under.  I have EJ fraction around 20 and have had numerous echo-cardiograms to monitor heart function.  To date I have recovered very well.  I cannot do what I used to but feel great.  In September of 04 I had an AICD implanted more or less to act as a saftey net for when my heart stops.


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 4/4/2005 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Steve, you have a wonderful wife! tongue   
 
I'm so glad that with all your problems thus far, that depression has not been counted amongst them!!
 
Hugs, Teri tongue
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 5/28/2005 8:38 AM (GMT -7)   

I saw the following articles and wanted to share them with ya'll!

Hugs, Teri tongue

Press Release Date: May 20, 2005

"One in five patients hospitalized for heart attack suffers from major depression, and these patients may be more likely than other heart attack patients to need hospital care again within a year for a cardiac problem and three times as likely to die from a future attack or other heart problems, according to a new evidence report by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality."

http://www.ahrq.gov/news/press/pr2005/mideppr.htm

"Shock Therapy for Depression May Reduce Heart Disease"

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_24813.html


"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating:

Post Edited (Teri16) : 5/28/2005 9:41:18 AM (GMT-6)


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 6/15/2005 11:53 PM (GMT -7)   

"Psychological Distress Common in Heart Patients"

As we've discussed and mentioned here before, Heart Disease and especially Heart Failure and Heart Attack patients suffer from depression, or some type of psychological distress...Hugs, Teri

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_25221.html


"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating:


Texrose
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 6/16/2005 7:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Depression comes with any major illness.  It is normal.
Depression can be made worse if the patient is not well informed on their condition.
 
The other day at the doctor's office, I mentioned to the cardio doctor's that if I had to make a choice between HD and Breast Cancer, I would chose the Breast Cancer.
 
They chimed in and said, YES, as Breast Cancer can be cured.  HD cannot..
 
My fear always has been getting Breast Cancer and never a thought about HD.
 
My, how one can dance to a different tune and quickly.
 
~~~~~~~~~~a well informed patient makes for a better patient~~~~~~~
 
 

Post Edited (Texrose) : 6/16/2005 8:42:32 AM (GMT-6)


Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 6/16/2005 11:28 AM (GMT -7)   
TexRose,
 
I am not going to debate this issue with you.  With comments like this you must site a reputable source.
 
It has been proven that heart disease, mainly Heart Failure and Heart Attacks do cause depression.  Since this is a Heart Disease Forum, we are following this topic here. I have stated my sources.
 
Your comparison and your Dr.'s supposed comparison of having heart disease and breast cancer is completely unwarranted and not true.
 
Breast Cancer is not always curable.  My Mom died from it in Feb. of 2005. (edited date)
 
I will not have these type of discussions from you continuing on this forum.  There are too many people, including myself that are ill and do not need this.  We also have a member right now, that is ongoing testing for breast cancer.  So this is most definitely not the place for this.
 
If you have a problem with me or this forum, then please write to the Administration@HealingWell.com.
 
Thank you, Teri
 
 
 
 


"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
Please allow HealingWell to continue helping others by donating:

Post Edited (Teri16) : 6/16/2005 7:17:51 PM (GMT-6)


Texrose
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 6/16/2005 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   

Teri, I had NO IDEA that my posts were upsetting to you and others. 

What are you talking about?  Who was debating you? Please re-read my post.  YES, Depression is seen in HD and also many other health issues. I did not disagree with you.

 I posted what has been told to me by physicians and what I feel in my heart.  In NO WAY was I trying to cause Havoc  on this forum.  I am not this way.  I am suffering the thrones of severe heart disease also and when my doctors said "breast Cancer" can be cured in early stages and MY HD cannot, I agreed fully to their statement.  Breast Cancer is also in our family and I thank God that both my aunts and niece are survivors of this.  Is that so bad to post?  I hope you are more open minded to what we as heart Patients feel.  Our "feelings" do not have to have an abstract attached.

Again, IF I HAD to make a chocie...please note (HAD TO) I would chose Breast Cancer. Please have an open mind to how I feel and many others.  I do not think your post was warranted. Where is your understanding?  We all learn from one another and we all share our frustrations and fears with one another. This is known as "Good Support".

I certainly do not wish ANY ill health on any person. NO ONE!~!

Thank You. 

TexRose, Ph.D.

Edited due to spelling error.


Post Edited (Texrose) : 6/16/2005 1:44:04 PM (GMT-6)

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