Have you lost interest in the activities you used to enjoy?
Do you struggle with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness? Are you finding it harder and harder to get through the day? Depression can happen to any of us as we age, regardless of our background or achievements. But depression is far from an inevitable part of getting older.
Depression is a common problem in older adults. And the symptoms of elderly depression can affect every aspect of your life, impacting your energy, appetite, sleep, and interest in work, hobbies, and relationships. There are many reasons that elderly depression is so often overlooked:. It can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter your background or your previous accomplishments in life.
No matter what challenges you face as you age, there are steps you can take to feel happy and Depression in older adult once again Depression in older adult enjoy your golden years. Recognizing depression in the elderly starts with knowing the signs and symptoms. Depression red flags include:. They may complain, instead, of low motivation, a lack of energy, or physical problems. In fact, physical complaints, such as arthritis pain or worsening headaches, are often the predominant symptom of depression in the elderly.
As we age, we experience many losses. Grieving over these losses is normal and healthyeven if the feelings of sadness last for a long time. However, there are ways to tell the difference.
As we grow older, we often face significant life changes that can increase the risk for depression. Any chronic medical condition, particularly if it is painful, disabling, Depression in older adult life-threatening, can lead to depression or make your depression symptoms worse. Symptoms of depression can also occur as a side effect of many commonly prescribed drugs. While the mood-related side effects of prescription medication can affect anyone, older adults are more sensitive because, as we age, our bodies become less efficient at metabolizing and processing drugs.
If you feel depressed after starting a new medication, talk to your doctor. Never assume that a loss of mental sharpness is just a normal sign of old age.
It could be a sign of either depression or dementia, both of which are common in older adults. Depression and dementia share many similar symptoms, including memory problemssluggish speech and movements, and low motivation, so it can be difficult to tell the two apart. Treatment for dementia will also improve your quality of life. And in some types of dementia, symptoms can be reversed, halted, or slowed.
Overcoming depression involves finding new things you enjoy, learning to adapt to change, staying physically Depression in older adult socially active, and feeling connected to your community and loved ones. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better can seem overwhelming. But small steps can make a big difference to how you feel. Taking a short walk, for example, is something you can do right now—and it can boost your mood for the next two hours.
But isolation and disconnection only make depression Depression in older adult. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression.
Do your best to see people in person on a daily basis. Your mood will thank you! Start by joining a senior center, a book club, or another group of people with similar interests.
As we age, life changes and we lose things that previously occupied our time and gave our life meaning.
You may retire, for example, or your children may leave home, or friends may move away. But there are still plenty of ways you can find new meaning in life and continue to feel connected and engaged. Get out in to the world. Try not to stay cooped up at home all day. Go to the park, take a trip to the hairdresser, have lunch with a friend, visit a museum, or go to a concert or a play. Helping others is one of the best ways to feel better about yourself and expand your social network.
Join a depression support group. Being with others facing the same problems can help reduce your sense of isolation. It can also be inspiring to hear how others cope with depression. Depression in older adult owners love to chat while their pets play together.
Learn a new skill. Take a class or join a club to meet like-minded people. Create opportunities to laugh. Laughter Depression in older adult a mood boostso swap humorous stories and jokes with your loved ones, watch a comedy, or read a funny book. But your health habits have an impact on depression symptoms. Exercise is a powerful depression treatment.
In fact, research suggests it can be just as effective as antidepressants. Take a short walk now and see how much better you feel.
Anything that gets you up and moving helps. Look for small ways to add more movement to your day: It all adds up. Your dietary habits make a difference with depression.