Get Happy and Fight Heart Disease

Guys, if you've been feeling down in the dumps, now there's more reason than ever to raise your spirits. A new study has found that depression can be deadly.fight depression and heart disease

Why are you looking so glum? Is it rainy day blues? Did your favorite team get routed in the playoffs? Even if you're suffering a bout of depression from something mundane, it might be a good idea if you snap out it, now. A recent study says depression may not only affect your health, it might kill you.

Write. Keep a journal. Somehow, writing everything down helps keep the misery from running around in circles.
Listen to your favorite "help" songs (songs that have strong positive meaning for you).
Read. Check out books about depression; spirituality; morality and biographies on people who suffered from depression but still did well with their lives (Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King, to name two).

As if there's not enough for guys to be depressed about (such as shorter average life spans than women), now they face dying from it. The study recently published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that men who suffered from depression had a 71 percent higher risk of developing heart disease than non-depressed men. The study also found that they were 2.34 times more likely to die of heart disease than non-depressed men.

Previous research has linked depression to heart disease, but those studies examined men and women collectively. This new study looks at the effects of depression on men and women separately, and found that only depressed men face an increased risk of heart disease-related death.

Women still have a compelling reason to ditch depression. The study found that depressed women faced a 73 percent higher risk of heart disease than non-depressed women, but they were not at greater risk of dying.

"We have shown that the effect of depression on coronary heart disease risk differs in men and women," wrote the authors of the study, led by researcher Amy Ferketich of Ohio State University.

The study presents a good case for snapping out it. While some forms of depression require professional help, we can usually boost ourselves out the everyday variety by changing our approach. Here's how:

* Find a stress-management technique that works for you. It might be as simple as going for a brisk bike ride after having an argument with your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, mistress, whatever.

* Set realistic, reachable goals. Celebrate small victories along the way to a big success.

* Exercise is huge. Join a class, ride a bike, take a walk, shoot some hoops, just get outside.

* Watch what you eat. Depression can destroy good eating habits. An unhealthy diet can also be the cause of depression.

* Socialize. Go to museum. Call a friend and go for a walk. Get up and out of your slump.

* Volunteer. Sometimes helping those less fortunate than ourselves helps to put things in perspective.

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