Anxiety and depression are emerging to be two of the most prevalent conditions faced by millions across the world. Anxiety is defined as a mental health condition characterised by feelings of worry, or fear that often interfere with one's daily activities. Depression on the other hand is a mental health disorder marked by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities. According to WHO, globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression. If the findings of a latest study are to be believed, symptoms of depression and anxiety are present in about one-third of patients with heart failure and these patients are at a higher risk of progressive heart diseases and other adverse outcomes.
The researchers said that heart patients need to be extra cautious about their psychological health. The study, published in the journal Harvard Review of Psychiatry, revealed "markedly higher" rates of depression and anxiety disorders among patients with heart failure, compared to the general population.
"Depression has been linked to the development and progression of heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases," said co-author Christopher Celano from Harvard University' s Medical School.
There have been countless studies in past that have linked psychiatric disorders to worse outcomes in patients with heart failure. The scientists in this study, set out to confirm the relationship between the two. For the study, the researchers did a targeted review of research on associations between heart failure, depression, and anxiety.
It was revealed through the course of the study that anxiety is highly frequent among patients with heart failure and both physiological and behavioural factors may lead to grievous consequences as far as the heart health is concerned.
Nearly 30 per cent of patients have clinically significant anxiety symptoms, while 13 per cent meet diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorders (such as generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or panic disorder).
The scientists also noted that depression and anxiety may make it more difficult for patients with heart failure to follow recommendations for diet, exercise and medication use. Earlier studies have also linked depression to metabolic changes, including increased levels of inflammatory markers.
For the study, the researchers examined responses from formal diagnostic interviews (i.e. based on DSM-5 criteria) which is known to help in assessing the cause of overlapping symptoms between heart failure and depression or anxiety including problems with sleep, concentration, or energy.
While experts around the world are working to find cure to depression and anxiety, there are many natural ways with which you can try to manage the condition better. Here are foods that are known to ease anxiety and prevent you from feeling low.
Foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries, dark chocolate, etc have also been known to promote resilience, alertness and positive mood.
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine were able to reverse depressive symptoms in mice by feeding them Lactobacillus, a probiotic bacteria found in live-cultures yogurt. The same study found the mechanisms through which the bacteria affect mood and found a direct link between gut health and mental health.
Carotene-rich foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, etc are also effective in fighting depressive symptoms.
Eating just a handful of grapes every once in a while might improve your mental well-being. A recent research has found certain compounds in grapes that have therapeutic properties and might help fight depression. The results of the research were published in the online journal Nature Communications and it said that some compounds present in grapes might help ward off depression by targeting some newly discovered mechanisms that lead to the mental illness.
Apart from including these foods in your diet, another way to beat depression, anxiety and mood swings is by exercising daily.