Can Depression Therapy Prevent a Heart Attack?

The connection between mind and body is a mysterious one, hardly better understood today than it was in the age of Pericles. Clinicians are well aware that such a connection exists, of course; we have a surfeit of evidence to suggest that the power of belief can transform meditations into medications. But just how far does it go? A new study has concluded that treating depression with drugs and psychotherapy may significantly reduce the chance of a cardiovascular event later in life:

Patients who had no evidence of heart disease at the study start who received antidepressants and therapy for their depression almost halved their risk of a heart attack or stroke during the eight years of the study, compared with the standard care group, the researchers found.

This is provocative data because it seems to resolve one of the great questions about depression and poor health: which precedes which? Is depression a causal factor in developing heart disease, or its inevitable byproduct? Reducing the chance of heart attack by treating depression seems to illuminate which way cause and effect flows here: first comes depression, and then, the deluge.

Here at the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center, we offer a strong foundation in depression therapy through analytic techniques. If you’d like to improve your quality of health, and possibly stave off future health difficulties in the bargain, we urge you to contact our New York psychotherapists here.