Understanding Depression in Senior Years
Feeling sad or down is normal sometimes, but for seniors it can be a sign of something more – depression. Depression is a serious mood disorder that causes feelings of extreme sadness that won’t go away. Let’s take a look at what depression looks like for older people and how we can help.
What Are the Symptoms?
Some common signs of depression in seniors include:
- Feeling unhappy, grumpy or irritable most of the time
- Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy like hobbies, sports or spending time with friends
- Changes in sleep – either sleeping too much or having trouble sleeping
- Changes in appetite – either eating more or less than normal
- Feeling worthless or hopeless about the future
- Having trouble concentrating or making decisions
These symptoms last for at least two weeks and make it hard to do daily tasks.
What Causes Depression?
There are a few reasons why depression impacts more seniors:
- Brain chemistry changes – neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine can decrease with age
- Medical issues – illnesses, chronic pain, or medications can trigger depression
- Loss of independence – things like losing mobility or having to rely on others can be difficult
- Loneliness – if friends and family have passed away, not having people around takes a toll
Getting Help is Important
It’s so important for seniors experiencing depression symptoms to get help. Don’t try to tough it out alone – talking to your doctor is key. They can do an exam, ask questions, and determine if treatment makes sense. Options include therapy, medication, or lifestyle changes to help get your mood back on track.
You’ve got this – reach out so you can start feeling like your happy self again. A little help goes a long way for your mental well-being as a senior citizen. Your friends and family are here for you too.