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Severe Depression


  What could be causing severe depression in someone who had an MI 4 months ago, stent placement 2 months ago (I did receive your feedback on the stent-travel stress test question  to my most recent post and am very grateful).  My friend appears to have a deep depression and sits in front of the TV and cries.  He said he realized his mortality after the heart attack.  He was in great spirits after the successful stent operation, but then seems to have become severely depressed after only being able to last 2 1/2 minutes on the stress test.  Also, he is back to drinking beer (alcoholism and DTs brought on thein-hospital  heart attack)...has gone thru the "program" previously, but slipped back into his old ways about a year ago.  It appears the need for alcohol is very great.  Does the alcohol (several beers a day) bring on the depression, or is it possible there is collateral damage (he hallucinated in the hospital for over 3 weeks).  He is elderly - dementia?  Thank you so much; you have been a great source of comfort for me.
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Avatar universal


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Dear Marcy, thank you for your question.  Depression is frequently seen after an illness like a heart attack and since your friend is prone to alcohol dependency, he is at higher risk of developing depression.  I can't say whether his alcoholism or his response to his heart attack is the cause of his depression, but he needs professional help for both problems.  Additionally, dementia may be playing a role as well.  Thus, I strongly advise you to bring your friend to his physician's office and to demand treatment for the depression and alcoholism.  
I hope you find this information useful.  Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies. Please feel free to write back with additional questions.
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter.   The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.




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