By Laurie Erdman, Owning Pink
I have nothing good to say about depression. Depression has robbed my life of some very special people. Ten years ago I lost my best friend, Clay Whitmer, to suicide after years of depression. My fatherís alcoholism — rooted in depression — robbed me of a loving father growing up. And then there is my mom. Eleven years ago, she died of heart disease. Huh? Yes, as CNN recently reported, a new study shows a link between heart disease and depression and gloomy personalities.
The researchers used a model called Type-D personality type to identify the high risk group. Type-D personalities are “characterized by negative emotions like anxiety, frustration, and anger, and at the same time score high on social inhibition, meaning that they are less likely to disclose emotions,” according to one of the researchers. These individuals have an almost four times greater risk of a heart attack, heart failure death or other negative outcome, compared to heart patients with different personality profiles. Yicks.
We all know that diet and smoking increases our risk of heart disease, but now they are telling us our personality can put us at risk too?† Wow. †So I can eat my vegetables and do my yoga, but if I am a negative personality type, I am still at greater risk of heart disease. But how do I change my personality?
This is big news. Big enough and scary enough that I first had to ask if it even makes sense. And if so, what does a Type-D personality do to decrease their risk?