Identifying Depression in the Elderly

Raleigh, NC Depression TreatmentWhether you are taking care of an aging parent or grandparent or have friends from an older generation, keeping a close watch on their mental health is important. As people age they begin to face challenges with their health, the loss of a spouse or friends, and decreased mobility. Although these are all parts of aging, they can be difficult to accept. For many older adults these changes bring about depression. For quality Raleigh, NC depression treatment for seniors, call Legacy Freedom.

As a caregiver or friend, it is crucial that you recognize the signs and symptoms of depression in someone you love. These are the most common signs of depression in older adults:

  • Changes in sleep habits - sleeping more or sleeping less
  • No longer caring about personal appearance or hygiene
  • Skipping meals
  • Refusing to take medication
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Feelings of worthlessness or self-loathing
  • Decreased interest in hobbies or socializing
  • Persistent sadness
  • Lack of energy or motivation
  • Chronic aches and pains without medical origin
  • Difficulty with memory or slowed speech

It is important to note that sadness and depression don't always go hand in hand. Many older adults experience depression without feeling sad. There is a difference between depression and grief, but it can be difficult to distinguish between the two.

Depression is accompanied by feelings of emptiness and despair that are continuously present. When you are experiencing grief you will feel a wide range of emotions. Grief has been likened to a roller coaster ride of good and bad days. There is no timetable for grieving. During grief, there will be moments of joy, pleasure, or happiness. If the person you care is experiencing fewer of these positive moments they could be suffering from depression.

Co-occurring medical conditions can also cause depression in older adults. Life-threatening or disabling conditions such as lupus, MS, diabetes, cancer, dementia, stroke, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, or thyroid disorder can cause or worsen existing depression.

Medications can also cause or worsen existing depression. The most common medications that worsen depression are:

  • Sleeping pills
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Beta-blockers
  • Calcium-channel blockers
  • Heart medications which contain reserpine
  • Steroids
  • Arthritis drugs
  • Painkillers
  • Tranquilizers
  • High-cholesterol drugs
  • Estrogen

In addition to the usual side effects of starting a new medication,  mood should be monitored for signs of new-onset depression. If symptoms of depression are present, contact the prescribing doctor right away. Do not stop taking any medication without being told to do so.

Legacy Freedom or Raleigh NC recognizes that aging comes with challenges that are unforeseen by many people. Struggling with depression is one of those unplanned difficulties that many mature adults are forced to face every day. Whether you are grieving the loss of your spouse or a long time friend, feeling listless now that you have retired, or are struggling to overcome a life-threatening disease or a new mobility challenge, many factors can contribute to your feelings of depression.

Holistic Raleigh, NC Depression Treatment For Seniors

At Legacy Freedom, we utilize a holistic approach to Raleigh, NC depression treatment that combines traditional one-on-one talk therapy and group therapy with non-traditional treatments. These alternative therapies have been successful for thousands of clients who have struggled with depression. With more than ten different therapies to choose from, there is sure to be something that interests you and helps you meet the goals of your care plan.

Don't wait to take control of your depression. Call or click to connect with Legacy Freedom today!

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