Karen McPhail, RN, MSN
When it is More than just Seasonal Depression
Depression is not a normal aspect of aging, although it is often treated as one and thus under treated and misdiagnosed. Due to a variety of factors, older adults are at great risk for depression. It is especially concerning for those living alone, experiencing a recent loss, having a chronic fatigue or pain condition, or with a chronic health condition. Early intervention is key to successful outcomes. However, many older adults are hesitant to express their feelings, concerned about the past stigmas of mental health issues, or feels that they do not really have problem.
If you notice the following signs of depression in your loved one it is time to seek guidance and encourage treatment:
1. Lack of attention to grooming or hygiene
2. Fatigue or lack of motivation
3. Trouble with focus or concentration
4. Mood changes and irritability
5. Withdrawal or loss of interest in others or activities
6. Insomnia and restlessness or sleeping more and not wanting to get out of bed
7. Overeating or the loss of appetite
8. Stating feelings of hopelessness or finding no please in any activity
9. Sad or anxious feelings that do not go away.
10. Expressing a lack of wanting to live.
11. Consuming alcoholic beverages more
12. Seeking out and taking prescription drugs compulsively
13. Difficulty in making decisions and seeming overwhelmed by life
14. Compulsive shopping, gambling, social media, or other activities as a coping mechanism
15. Feeling progressively numb, distant, aloof, flat, or blah...
Depression should always be taken seriously at all ages and never simply be dismissed! Suicide continues to be the 10th leading cause of death in the US. And surprising to some, individuals over the age of 85 have the highest rate of suicide in our country!!
If you are unsure about how to handle depression in loved one reach out via our contacts tab.