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Depression and Heart Disease

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Depression and Heart Disease

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.

Type-D personality

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?

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Read more: Conditions, Depression, General Health, Health, Mental Wellness, Self-Help, Stress, , , , , , , , ,

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2:23AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

Promising to see that every day, we are learning more and more about depression. Knowledge is power! Thanks for the info.

11:52AM PST on Dec 16, 2010

I just saw that my Owning Post was posted here. I'm glad to hear so many of you found it helpful. For those suffering from depression, I hope you can find the way to happiness and health.

5:19PM PDT on Oct 26, 2010

I do not know what type I am classified as.
I do suffer from depression and have since my son completed the act of suicide 13 years ago.

10:23AM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

some good information, thanks for the article.

1:43PM PDT on Oct 19, 2010

Depression is probably the most passive and powerless state of existence there is. I'd been passing through various degrees of depression for years, doing nothing about it, since I was too embarrassed to admit there was something wrong with me. A couple of months ago, it hit me real hard, which made me realize I'd had enough of it. Since then, I've been doing all that I can to reach that mythical Type-A personality type. Talking to friends helps. And so does St.John's Wort, God bless that herb!

Depression is about hating ourselves, so it makes perfect sense that the heart is the organ that suffers the most. Sometimes, when I was in a really bad shape, I had a feeling my heart was about to explode. After all, our bodies reflect how we feel about ourselves.

5:18PM PDT on Oct 18, 2010

I thought I was depressed but after reading this I know I am not.
Thank You

12:22PM PDT on Oct 17, 2010

Thank you! This is a very good article that may really help those at risk!

3:37AM PDT on Oct 16, 2010

As I grow older, depressive incidents lessen. It's one of the good points of aging.

2:45AM PDT on Oct 15, 2010

I'm definitely a D-type, but not clinically depressed (at least not diagnosed currently). I've been depressed years ago, took drugs. Maybe they helped but I didn't learn anything and ended up with bad relationships which led me to another episode. That time I went to therapy which was more helpful in the long run, taught me self-acceptance and assertiveness. Now, I guess having a significant health problem that threatens my ability to work and afford treatments is a good reason to feel down and anxious, not a clinical depression. A lot of time I only feel like crying but having a few good friends who care turns some gloomy days into sunshine. Though I know friends come and go, especially when they're tired of emotionally supporting a sick person, so this is not a rock to build your happiness upon. (My D-type brain thinking again, he he)

But stress does make my health worse, this is certain. I used to do yoga, now I can't. Before I found meditation helpful in making me more resilient, but after some stress threshold is reached it's no longer effective.

11:47PM PDT on Oct 14, 2010

to oblivion. (Not enough space for these words in my last comment I guess.)
What good is living when you don't experience it by sleeping all the time? So many doctors and so many approaches. Too many medications at once can be dangerous too. R.N.

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