Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Depression:
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Loss of interest in socializing
- Weight loss or loss of apetite
- Hopeless or helpless feeling
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Sleep disturbances, such as lack of sleep or overlseeping
- Slowed movement and speech
- Increase use of alcohol or drugs
- Fixation on death
- Memory problems
- Neglecting personal care
"Depression is not a normal or necessary part or aging."
Risk Factors for Depression:
- Family history of depression
- Living alone or social isolation
- Loss of loved ones
Medical conditions can cause depression in older adults.
- Parkinson's Disease
- Heart attack
- Thyroid disorders
- Vitman B12 deficiency
- Dementia or Alzheimer's
- Multiple Sclerosis
Depression can also occur as a side effect to many common medications.
If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms above, go to your doctor. Your physician may ask you a series of questions and assess you using the Geriatric Depression Scale. They will be able to provide you with resources and assistance in relieving depression.
There are many things that you can do to help prevent or treat depression.
- Avoid isolation and spend time with others
- Move frequently and exercise
- Stay away from alcohol
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat omega-3 fats
- Pick up new hobbies
- Minimize intake of sugar and refined carbs
- Counseling and therapy
- Taking medications as instructed