View in browser | April 2017

Avoid Psychiatric Complications Following Cardiovascular Problems

While most feelings of sadness or depression after a heart attack, cardiac surgery, or procedure are temporary and subside with time, many are not. In fact, according to the American Medical Association, 40-50% of patients hospitalized for surgery to treat some form of blockage in arteries experience major depression or anxiety disorder.1

Moreover, scientific research has shown that patients with continued depression after cardiac surgery experience intensified pain and have an increased risk of further adverse cardiac events like formation of blood clots and heart attacks. Most significantly, people who have untreated depression following a cardiovascular intervention have a 17% increase in mortality risk (risk of death) within 6 months after a heart attack.2

How best to avoid psychiatric issues after major cardiac events

The American Heart Association informs us that, while an estimated 10% of Americans, ages 18 and older are affected by depression, the frequency increases to 33% following a heart attack.

The good news is that depression can be treated easily, especially in the early stages, and that many treatments are available. The best ways to treat depression are counseling, mood lifting medication, or both.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Meet with your primary care physician who can assess you for depression and anxiety, and who can determine whether to refer you to a mental-health specialist like a psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychotherapist.
  • Reduce stress levels by making lifestyle adjustments at work and at home. Openly discuss the need for extra assistance with friends, family and colleagues at work.
  • Adhere to prescribed medications such as blood-thinning (anticoagulant) drugs after cardiac interventions.
  • Maintain a physically active lifestyle; avoid isolation by staying involved in the community; and exercise regularly. Aerobic exercises have been scientifically proven to have a positive impact on depressive symptoms, as well as help the heart work more efficiently, while improving strength, flexibility and balance.3
  • Early identification of mood disorders (including withdrawal from activities, not responding when visiting with family and friends, increased negative thoughts) and consultation with the healthcare provider are important in addressing the problem to avoid further complications after cardiovascular interventions.

"The quicker we can identify and treat people who have depression or anxiety following a cardiac event, the better their chances of regaining full physical recovery and getting them back to enjoying their lives."says Anish Shah, M.D., psychiatrist and director of Siyan Clinical.


Disclaimer: serotonergic antidepressants can increase bleeding and may need careful monitoring when prescribed with blood thinners.

We are excited here at Siyan Clinical to be able to offer TMS to our patients. We continue to see amazing results of our patients who have completed our TMS treatment program.
Please talk to your doctor or call our offices at (707) 206-7268 ext 13 for more information.
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