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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Depression After Heart Attack
      Category : Health Centers > Depression

Depression After Heart Attack

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Depression is a medical condition that leads to intense feelings of sadness or despair. These feelings don't go away on their own.

What is going on in the body?

Several factors can make a person feel depressed after a heart attack. The stress of being in the hospital, the fear of another heart attack, and the reality of having to make lifestyle changes can all contribute. If the person had to have bypass surgery, he or she will have to endure a long recovery period. This could include being out of work for up to six weeks.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

There are many theories about what causes depression. Depression may be caused by any of the following:

  • certain illnesses
  • certain medications, including antibiotics and medicines used to treat acne
  • changes in brain chemicals
  • heredity
  • hormonal changes
  • lack of sunlight
  • major stresses
  • negative thinking patterns
  • Risk factors for depression include the following:

  • alcohol abuse
  • drug abuse and addiction
  • hormonal changes
  • job strain
  • personal or family history of depression
  • personal history of a suicide attempt
  • stress
  • Depression and heart attack have a complex relationship. People with a history of depression have a much higher incidence of heart attacks than people without depression. A person is more at risk for depression after a heart attack if he or she has suffered from depression in the past.


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    Depression After Heart Attack: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 05/01/01

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