Friday, April 25, 2014
Depression in Older Adults, a guest blog post
This guest blog post is written by Laura Chapman, who has written an article posted at http://psycheguides.com, and to which she shares a link here in the blog.Thank you, Laura!
"Depression amongst adults is said to be present in roughly 10% of the population. However, a lot of cases go unreported and therefore never get treated. Symptoms of depression in adults are changes in sleep patterns and appetite, feeling hopeless, numb and disinterested, and an irritability that wasn’t there before. Fortunately, treating depression is fairly straight forward and a combination of therapy to find the route of the problem and anti-depressants are usually used to ease the symptoms. If thought of suicide occur, the sufferer should seek professional help straight away."
Depression affects more than 35 million adults each year. Of these, 6.5 million are over the age of 65. In the later years of a person’s life, changes occur that can lead to depression. These include medical illnesses, death of spouses or other loved ones and retirement. Depression prevents older adults from enjoying their lives like they did when they were younger. The effects of depression, however, extend far beyond changes in mood. Patients become less energetic, experience changes in sleep patterns, changes in their appetites and decline in physical health. However, depression is not always inevitable when it comes to aging. There are steps and strategies that older adults can focus on to overcome the symptoms of depression.
As people get older, their health typically begins to deteriorate. They may experience severe or chronic pain, become disabled or have surgeries or diseases that damage their bodies. These symptoms can cause a person to become depressed and feel useless.
Many elderly people live alone, usually due to the death of a spouse, have decreased mobility and no longer have driving privileges. These factors can contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
When people reach retirement age or are physically challenged, they may feel a sense of purposelessness.
Anxiety over health issues or financial problems can cause one to become depressed. Additionally, as people get older, they become more afraid of death.
When people lose their spouses, friends or pets to death, they may become saddened; this can lead to depression. In this case, the bereaved might consider moving in with family members or friends.