Depression and Vascular Disease
Quarantine has caused many cases of mental health issues among our friends and family. Isolation can lead to loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
For some, mental health issues can lead to more health issues. People with depression or anxiety are more prone to develop heart and vascular disease, according to a recent study by Harvard Medical School.
The study concluded those who reported high or very high levels of depression and anxiety were more likely to have had a heart attack or stroke than people without those symptoms.
Here is a list of 10 questions used to identify people who need further assessment for anxiety or depression. People can select answers ranging from 1 to 5: 1 (none of the time); 2 (a little of the time); 3 (some of the time); 4 (most of the time); 5 (all of the time).
During the past four weeks, about how often did you feel
___ so nervous that nothing could calm you down?
___ restless or fidgety?
___ so restless that you could not sit still?
___ tired out for no good reason?
___ that everything was an effort?
___ so sad that nothing could cheer you up?
Scoring: 15 or lower = low; 16–21= moderate; 22–29 = high; 30–50 = very high
The findings from the study don’t necessarily mean that mental distress causes heart and vascular issues, but it does raise awareness to the issue.
If you score high on the distress level test – or just feel depressed or anxious – don’t be afraid to seek help. Reach out to friends and family. Also ask your primary care provider to recommend potential treatments to battle your challenges.
Always remember – you aren’t alone!