Depression and the elderly: Down in the dumps, hopeless and helpless

Feeling that all of your best days are behind you or no one really cares? On top of it all, you keep getting older. This is how many older people feel on a daily basis. Which is why depression represents one of our great fears of aging? Everyone has these feelings to some extent.

There is no need to be ashamed of these feelings; they are justified and normal.

The depth and duration of depression can vary greatly among people. Severe depression can cause weight loss, sleeplessness, slowing of movement and speech, and even thoughts of suicide. Severe depression requires professional help. It can be alleviated, but sometimes it takes a long period of time for the situation to improve.

As depression and the elderly, depression in older individuals is much more easily handled, and often the symptoms of depression are not recognized as depression. The depressed individual may complain of being tired, insomnia, pain in the muscles and joints, and even constipation.

For older people suffering from depression who are often taking multiple medications at the same time, reviewing the medications is a good place to start. Medications like codeine and other pain killers as well as antihistamines can cause or aggravate depression. Some arthritis medications like prednisone and indomethacin have been known to cause depressive reactions in some people.

Often medication or the removal of medication is not the remedy.

For older people that are feeling depressed, it is important to stay active and exercise. This can be done in many ways from a change in pace to visiting friends, going on vacation, starting a new hobby and so much more. When increasing activity it is important for older people to know their limits. But it is also important for older people to recognize that they are not dead yet. Just because someone is 92 years old does not mean that they should not make long-term plans or projects and anticipate future events or do things that they have always wanted to do and just kept putting off.

In the event that you can’t alleviate your depression or it is very, very severe you should seek professional help right away. There are many healthcare consulting resources to point you in the right direction. With that being said, most depressions come and then disappear, if a person works at living and keeps themselves active, but some people do need extra help.

Article Source: Depression and the Elderly.

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