Heart Failure and Mental Health

Shannon Donovan • 30 September 2021

Depression is a common issue among heart failure patients. Up to 30% of heart failure patients suffer from depression, which can have worse outcomes on quality of life and outcomes. But there are lifestyle modifications that one can do to help with the management of heart failure and depression. Exercise or physical movement is one of the things that can be done to help both physically and mentally. Even if you are not able to run a marathon, you can still do an exercise program that is tailored to your preferences and abilities. Exercise can also be a low cost, easily accessible and easy to perform lifestyle modification that can help improve symptoms of depression and overall well-being. Poor sleep can also cause mood disorders. Keeping active during the day, limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, avoiding large meals before bedtime, and daytime sleeping are all measures to help with a healthy sleep schedule. 

If you are concerned you are having issues with depression, reach out to your healthcare provider to discuss appropriate treatment options for you. Ask about treatment for depression such as counseling, anti-depressant medicine or a combination of options. Confide in someone you trust, such as a family member, friend or a clergy person. Those close to you may already be aware you're depressed and want to help. Recognize that depression is part of your condition rather than feeling as though it's one more thing wrong with you. Consider recovering from depression to be part of your overall treatment plan.




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Nensel, J. Lifestyle modifications for living with heart failure and depression. The Connection: 2021: 68; 9.