|FOUR LEVELS OF DEPRESSION'S EFFECTS ON HEART DISEASE
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Pathway 2 is more directly biological. It proposes that specific biological changes during depression directly accelerate the process of developing heart disease, including elevated stress hormones, changes in heart-rate variability, impaired immune system functioning, and changes in the blood’s tendency to clot.
In addition, depression may exacerbate other forms of distress (pathway 3), such as chronic anxiety, to overwhelm the central nervous system and then the cardiovascular system.
For those who are curious about the mind-body connection, this book charts the vicious cycle of depression and heart disease. Through vignettes, scientific summaries, illustrations, and practical clinical tips, a new approach to this vexing mind-body problem points the way to better care based on cutting-edge science.
The Aching Heart presents a new view of depression as a broad-reaching illness with a distinct neurobiology, as well as its better known psychological and social dimensions. This book shows how the most up-to-date model of heart disease extends to the biology of depression in ways that translate into tips for better care.
Pathway 1 is a behavioral one, which proposes that depression triggers risky behaviors, such as smoking, overeating, and avoiding physical activity, behaviors that raise the chances of developing heart disease or that make existing heart disease worse.
Treating the Aching Heart
A Guide to Depression, Stress, and Heart Disease
LAWSON R. WULSIN, MD
256 pages, 6 x 9 inches
16 figures, 3 tables
bibliography, index, appendixes
Vanderbilt University Press 2007