Depression In The Elderly

Roughly 35 Million Americans Over 65 Are Affected By Depression

Depression has often said to be a natural a part of the getting old process-but that is not true. There’s nothing normal about depression , though in line with the National Institute of Health (NIH) roughly 35 million People over the age of 65 are affected by depression, 2 million are experiencing major depression . The aged have unique circumstances that can contribute to having bouts of depression. The loss of a cherished one is devastating at any age but when a person loses their companion of many years the loss may be debilitating and bring on severe depression within the one left behind. Seniors typically suffer from health issues which will include chronic aching and lack of independence.
Often the aged are isolated and their distress and depression may not be recognized. Physicians who treat geriatric patients often overlook signs of depression and focus on physical illnesses instead. Seniors are less likely to talk about their feelings of hopelessness or loneliness, preferring to keep their personal issues to themselves. Their generation was not encouraged to speak about their feelings and most really feel uncomfortable doing so. Most assume that it’s a natural process of getting old that causes a person to slow down and lose interest in activities that once gave them joy, but that is not true. Episodes of depression can be triggered by anxiety about declining financial situations, prescription medications that set off depression, self-image issues brought on by surgical procedure or disease.

Untreated Depression

Feelings that they have lost their goal in life because their children are grown, they no longer hold down a job and feel that they don’t have anything left to contribute can increase the risk of depression in seniors. Untreated depression within the elderly can result in a number of serious issues, including health issues, prescription drug abuse, elevated risk of alcoholism, a higher mortality rate and the increased risk of suicide. While it is true that to some extent an individual might slow down as they age, the vast majority of seniors are having fun with their lives and are staying lively into their seventy and eighties.
Depression is not a natural progression of growing old and In case you are a caregiver or just have an elderly neighbor, be alert for the warning signs of depression. You’ll be able to help a lonely senior feel needed in your neighborhood by visiting, by including them in activities and by keeping an eye on their needs. Depression in seniors is a treatable sickness and you may help by being aware of the symptoms and seeking help for seniors in your life who may be having difficulties. Whether or not you are 18 or you’re 80, nobody has to live with depression in their life.