Have you lost interest in activities you’ve always enjoyed? Are you losing the energy and motivation to get through each day? If so, you are not alone. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), about 80% of older adults who have at least one chronic health condition, and 50% of people who have two or more chronic health conditions, are more prone to depression. Depression is more common in people who suffer from other illnesses, which is why the risk of having depression is higher in older adults.
Though the possibility of having depression is greater in older adults, it is not a normal part of aging. Senior depression can be treated, and with the right treatment and support system a person can sustain a happy and healthy life. It’s important to be able to recognize symptoms of depression so that a person can begin looking for the help they need.
- Weight loss or loss of appetite
- Lack of motivation or energy
- Feelings of despair and/or sadness
- Slowed movement or speech
- Fixation on death; thoughts of suicide
- Neglecting personal care (forgetting meds, skipping meals, poor personal hygiene)
- Sleep disturbances
- Unexplained aches and pains
Depression does not necessarily mean a person will experience sadness. Sadness and depression are often grouped together, but in reality, physical complaints such as arthritis pain or headaches, are more predominant symptoms of senior depression,
Depression is treatable. Most individuals see improvement in their symptoms after receiving anti-depression drugs and/or psychotherapy. Make sure you find the help you need. Remember, you have the ability to feel good at any age!