At the young age of 14, I witnessed my father die of a brain aneurysm. He had also suffered two heart attacks prior to that and received stents. My uncle on my mother’s side had four heart attacks before he was 50. On the surface, it would appear that because both had unhealthy lifestyle practices, both suffered heart problems. But could it have been the way they saw life, the way they coped with adverse events, and prolonged periods of sadness and not the way they ate? The answer could very well be yes. According to research, depression can have more severe health risks than obesity or in some cases even smoking. Researchers studied 3428 men over a 10 year period who ranged in age from 45-74 and found that people suffering from depression were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease and premature death. In fact, they found that depression was the cause of 15% of cardiovascular deaths while obesity only 8-20%. There is more and more research showing the harmful physical impacts that depression has on us.

What To Do

If you suffer from depression, there is help available. Seek a counselor or someone who understands mental illness and how to treat it. Exercise and take care of your physical health. Do things (a lot) that bring you fulfillment and serve others who are also suffering. If necessary, explore medications until you can learn to manage the depression in a healthy way.  Whatever you do, please do something to help your depression before it causes you even more physical misery. Our mental health is a vital part of our physical health. Begin today. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!


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