The coronary heart disease-depression link is a strong one. About 20 percent of patients with CHD are predisposed to developing depression and about 10 to 15 percent of patients with any chronic medical illness are predisposed to developing depression. CHD and other chronic disease increases the risk for depression for a myriad of reasons, but I would like to emphasize the importance of seeking medical treatment, such as an SSRI or therapy, if you or a loved one is battling heart disease and/or the symptoms of depression, like we’ve discussed before.
Why is seeking treatment particularly important in this situation? Treating the underlying mood disorder may help to motivate the individual to pursue and follow through with treatment for their heart disease as well, such as taking medication and participating in cardiac rehab.