Depression is a difficult topic to discuss with anyone, especially family members.The stigma that looms over the title of “mental illness” is a difficult problem to solve. Many warning signs of depression are often overlooked and, unfortunately, are only realized after it is too late.
Depression in older adults can easily be written off as “moodiness” or “typical behaviors”. This is not always the case. Sure, everybody has an image of that cranky man on television that lives down the block, but depression is very different.
Warning signs of depression vary greatly from person to person, but can still be identified. The sooner they are recognized for what they are, the better chance there is to arm yourself and your loved ones with the right tools to battle depression.
According to the Administration on Aging, some common warning signs are:
- Sad, discouraged mood
- Persistent pessimism about the present, future and the past
- Loss of interest in work, hobbies, social life, and sex
- Difficulty in making decisions
- Lack of energy and feeling slowed down
- Restlessness and irritability
- Loss of appetite and loss of weight
- Disturbed sleep, especially early morning waking
- Depressive, gloomy or desolate dreams
- Suicidal thoughts
Signed into law by president, Lyndon Johnson, the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA) set out to maintain the dignity and welfare of older Americans. It also paved the way for services that organized and coordinated opportunities of older Americans and their families to recognize and treat symptoms of depression in the community.
The AOA website offers a vast amount of resources for families and caregivers that allow them to care for their loved ones with the respect and dignity they deserve.
If you or your loved one are feeling the effects of depression, know that there are resources that are available for you. Nobody needs to battle depression alone and the symptoms should not be disregarded as minor feelings. Call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the 24/7 Treatment Referral Line at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to find the treatment that works for you.
Visit psycom.net with your loved one to obtain a better understanding of what you may be feeling.
Your health and wellbeing go far beyond physical wellness. At Arise, our philosophy is “Stay Home, Stay Safe. Stay Healthy,” And that is exactly what we want for al or patients- no matter the age and no matter the symptoms.