Anxiety and Heart Disease

Is anxiety a contributing factor to heart disease? Can it also deter recovering from heart related issues? Many doctors believe so. If you suffer from anxiety, it is important to do all you can to manage your anxiety to prevent other health problems also. However, if you suffer from heart disease, dealing with this condition may cause anxiety as well.

 

How anxiety affects the heart


When someone experiences anxiety, the body’s reactions may also cause extra strain on the heart. Therefore, anxiety can be especially harmful to those diagnosed with cardiac disease.

The following cardiac risk factors and heart disorders may be caused by anxiety :

 

Decreased heart rate variability – Heart rate variability is the variation in the time interval between heartbeats. Even if your heart beats 60 beats per minute, that does not necessarily mean it beats every single second. It is normal to have some variation in how often the beats occur. Decreased heart rate variability may increase someone’s risk of death after an acute heart attack.

 

Tachycardia- This is rapid heart rate. In some serious cases, it interferes with normal heart function, increasing the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

 

Increased blood pressure – Chronic high blood pressure can lead to coronary disease. Coronary disease weakens the heart muscle and may also cause heart failure.

 

 

Heart attack and anxiety

 

Dealing with anxiety after a heart attack can be difficult. It is natural to react to this life-altering event in ways that are similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. However, it is important for patients to visit with their doctor if the anxiety does not improve over time.

Someone who has a heart attack may:

 

  • be shocked by this near-death experience and afraid to participate in activities that they once did.
  • struggle with reliving the event, and also avoid the activity or place where it occurred.
  • feel negative and uncertain about their future.
  • have difficulty sleeping.

 

Furthermore, after a heart attack, many individuals may have a difficult time completing tasks essential to their recovery and a healthy lifestyle due to their anxiety. Some of these problems may include:

 

  • not taking  prescribed medications
  • not following prescribed exercise regimens
  • disconnecting from friends and family
  • inability to confidently resume their career and family responsibilities
  • not following a healthy diet

 

Some anxiety disorders may affect heart health

 

Obsessive-Compulsive disorder (OCD) – Patients  with OCD manage their unreasonable thoughts and worries by performing the same actions over and over. For example, a person obsessed with perceived cardiovascular symptoms may be concerned that their anxiety disorder is really a heart problem. The symptoms do after all mimic a heart condition.


Panic disorder – Panic attacks are sometimes believed to initially be heart attacks. Sufferers will feel terror, agitation, chest pains, stomach discomfort, dizziness, shortness of breath, and also have rapid heart rates.


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – PTSD follows a shocking or frightening incident or sudden, life-threatening event. This may include a violent crime, major accident, or heart attack. Those who suffer from PTSD often have trouble dealing with anything associated with the incident that caused their anxiety.

 

 


Panic attack or heart attack?

 

It can be difficult to determine if a patient is suffering from anxiety or heart problems without proper treatment. A patient that suffers from chest pain—even if under the care of a physician for anxiety— should go to the emergency room. Blood tests can indicate heart muscle enzymes present due to a heart attack.

A cardiologist that is sensitive to anxiety issues will know how to sort out panic attack symptoms from heart attack symptoms and can also refer patients as needed if anxiety is the issue.

 

If you are having difficulty dealing with anxiety, please make an appointment with one of our providers. They would love to help you take charge of your life again. You can find a list of them at https://www.ccmhhealth.com/providers/.

 

Disclaimer


The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.


While content is frequently updated, medical information also changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Benefits of Decluttering Your Home

The new year is upon us. You also probably have a few new things to find a place for after the holidays. For that reason, now is a great time to declutter your home. Not only does decluttering your home give you a great sense of accomplishment, but it can also have some great benefits. According to a recent article in Psychology Today, some of these benefits can improve our health and well-being. 1

 

Here are 7 benefits that will help motivate you to get busy cleaning out your living space soon!

 

Reduce tension

 

If you are in a hurry to get out the door and your children can’t find their shoes or your spouse cannot find a bill that needs to be paid, this can cause arguments. Knowing exactly where important items are located can greatly destress your family relationships and help day-to-day routines go more smoothly.

 

Reduce financial stress

 

When you declutter, you find items you did not remember that you had. Consider decluttering closets, pantries and medicine cabinets. Chances are, you will find an item or two that was on your shopping list. Knowing what you have allows you to better assess your needs and budget your money.

 

Reduce anxiety

 

When things are out of order, we feel out of control. This increases anxiety. Decluttering and organizing can greatly relieve anxiety and help us gain a sense of control over our lives.

 

Find energy

 

Dealing with the anxiety of clutter can make us feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Although it can be difficult to get up and moving at first, exercise helps us feel more energized. We often overlook cleaning as exercise, but every little bit helps!  

 

Improved mood

 

Decluttering gives us a sense of accomplishment. Tackling small challenges gives us inner peace and self-confidence as well as stronger decision-making skills.

 

Decluttering lets your mind wander

 

If you have a job that is very stressful or mentally grueling, participating in an activity that does not require much from you cognitively is very beneficial. Not only are you accomplishing a task that you need to check off your list, but you have time to problem solve and work through things you may feel have taken a “back burner.” 

 

Decluttering can help you give back

 

What will you do with the things you decide to remove from your home? Gently used items are great to donate to organizations, schools and shelters. Also consider having a yard sale for charity. Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment at finding a new home for items you no longer need, but you can give the money earned to a favorite charity too.

 

Improved health habits

 

Research shows that decluttering can lead to improved health habits such as better sleep. Better sleep works as a domino effect having many other benefits such as improved immunity, helping us stay at a healthy weight and lowering our risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease. 2

 

If the task to declutter is overwhelming, remember that it does not have to happen all at once. Set aside just 15 minutes a day or focus on one room at a time. Just like improving your health, decluttering is a goal you should not expect to achieve overnight.

 

Sources

1 Boyes, Alice, Ph.D. Psychology Today. 6 Benefits of an Uncluttered Space:
The psychology behind organizing and decluttering.
  12 Feb. 2018.

 

2 National Health Information Center. Get Enough Sleep. 18 July 2018.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.