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Depression and Anxiety When You Have Coronary Artery Disease


Many people with coronary artery disease have symptoms of anxiety or depression. If you're struggling with emotions such as worry, sadness, or fear, you might not feel like doing the things you need to do to keep your heart healthy. And this can raise your risk of having a heart attack.

Getting help from your doctor

Many people wonder if their symptoms of anxiety or depression are problems their doctor needs to know about while treating their heart disease. Because your emotional health affects your physical health, it's important to tell your doctor about all of your symptoms.

The sooner you and your doctor have talked about your symptoms and your options for treatment, the sooner you can start to feel better. And when you feel better, it might be easier to do the things that are good for your heart.

Thinking about your feelings and symptoms

Before talking to your doctor, take some time to think about your feelings and symptoms. As you think about anxiety or depression, try to picture how you're experiencing them in your daily life. If you find it hard to think about your feelings as symptoms of your emotional health, that's okay. You could ask someone you trust and who knows you well to tell you what he or she may have noticed. Sometimes hearing another person's view can give you new insight.

It may help you to write about your feelings or symptoms. Having specific examples will help you and your doctor talk about your emotional health and heart disease.

What your doctor may ask about depression

Your doctor may ask if over the past 2 weeks you've had symptoms like:

  • You have felt down, depressed, or hopeless.
  • You have had little interest or pleasure in doing things.

What your doctor may ask about anxiety

Your doctor may ask if over the past few weeks you've had symptoms like:

  • Feeling anxious or worried most days about things like work, relationships, health, or money.
  • Finding it hard to stop or control the worry. This may make it hard to do your daily activities.


Current as of: September 7, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine

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