If your feelings of anger and anxiety or other negative moods persist for more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor. Depression is common among people with coronary heart disease, but can be treated effectively.
What is depression?
  • Depression is not just a low mood or feeling sad, but an illness.
  • People with depression find it hard to do normal activities and to function day by day.
  • Depression has serious effects of physical and mental health.
  • Depression is a common illness which affects up to one million Australians each year.
According to Beyondblue1 and the Heart Foundation2, a person may be depressed, if for more than 2 weeks they have:
1. Felt sad, down or miserable most of the time, OR
2. Lost interest or pleasure in most of their usual activities
AND experienced symptoms in at least 3 of the following four categories:
* stopped going out
* not getting things done at work
* withdrawn from close family and friends
* relying on alcohol and sedatives
* no longer doing things they enjoyed
* unable to concentrate                                                  
* “I’m a failure”
* “It’s all my fault                                                               
* “Nothing good ever happens to me”                                                              
* “I’m worthless”
* “Life is not worth living
* overwhelmed
* guilty
* irritable
* frustrated, angry
* no confidence
* unhappy
* indecisive
* disappointed
* miserable
* sad, tearful
*Tired all the time
*Sick and run down
*Headaches and muscle pains
*Churning gut
*Sleep problems
*Poor appetite/weight loss
Treatments for depression
For those who have depression and heart disease, cardiac rehabilitation programs and regular light/moderate physical activity have been shown to be effective for the less severe types of depression. Regular physical activity can help relieve mental tension and muscular tension and may lift mood.
However, more severe types of depression require different treatments, and there are effective psychological and pharmaceutical treatments.
Psychological treatments
These treatments look at issues that particularly affect people with depression, such as changing negative patterns of thinking or sorting out relationship difficulties:
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) – to correct the negative ways we think.
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT) – to improve relationships.
Pharmaceutical treatments are effective for treating depression. People who are depressed often feel physically unwell. Antidepressant medication treatments relieve the symptoms of depression (such as insomnia). It is common to worry about potential side effects from medications, however, not treating depression can lead to further negative outcomes.
There are a range of treatments that are proven to work – it’s about finding a treatment that’s right for you.
The most important thing is to find a treatment that works.

Help is available!


For those who do need support or advice in any of the issues we have discussed such as depression, help is available with a phone call or online.


Contact any of the following organisations, who have specially trained professionals to offer advice and support:
1300 13 11 14
1300 22 46 36
1300 36 27 87


  1. Beyondblue 2013, The facts, viewed 21 May 2013,
  2. National Heart Foundation of Australia 2005, Depression and coronary heart disease information sheet, viewed 21 May 2013,
  3. National Heart Foundation of Australia 2007, Physical activity and depression, viewed 21 May 2013,