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Depression is something that can impact people of all ages, and this includes senior citizens. Unfortunately, depression is more common than people realize, and it is particularly common among senior citizens as well. Fortunately, if we can identify depression early, we can institute a treatment plan that can help people recover.
Take a look at some of the questions we will answer below, and be sure to reach out to a mental health professional if you or someone you love is suffering from depression.
What Is Depression and The Types of Depression?
Depression is a mental health issue that refers to a loss of joy in activities that used to bring pleasure. There are numerous reasons why people may suffer from depression, but depression usually develops from changes in the way neurotransmitters flow throughout the brain. Depression can manifest differently depending on someone’s age, the cause of depression, and the type of depression they experience. Some of the most common types of depression include:
Major Depressive Disorder
When people think about depression, this is usually the type of depression they envision. Major depressive disorder can lead to a number of symptoms. There can be significant changes in someone’s sleep habits and individuals may start to eat significantly more or less than usual. People with major depressive disorder may feel guilty about things that are not their fault.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
When people have undergone treatment for depression without complete success, they may be diagnosed with something called persistent depressive disorder. Someone with this condition should work with mental health professionals to discuss alternative treatment options that may help them control their symptoms.
Substance or Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder
There are also situations where someone may be diagnosed with depression due to a medication they have been prescribed. Some medications can impact neurotransmitters in the brain as a part of their side effect profiles. These neurotransmitter changes can lead to depression.
Depressive Disorder Due To a Medical Condition
There are even some medical conditions that can cause people to develop depression. Some people get depressed because of the impacts of their medical condition, while other people may have a medical condition that directly impacts the neurons in the brain, leading to depression.
Symptoms of Depression in Seniors Citizens
The earlier depression is diagnosed, the faster the treatment process can begin. This can make a significant difference in someone’s overall prognosis. Some of the most common symptoms of depression include:
- Senior citizens with depression may have a difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep at night. Or, they may decide to spend all day sleeping.
- Senior citizens with depression often develop appetite changes. They may eat significantly more or less than usual.
- Emotional lability is common among senior citizens with depression. They may lash out at people who are there to provide them with support and care.
- Senior citizens with depression often feel guilty about things that are not their fault.
- Some senior citizens may even have thoughts of suicide, which is one of the most serious symptoms associated with depression.
Anyone who is experiencing these symptoms should reach out to a mental health professional as quickly as possible for treatment.
Supporting and Treating Those With Depression
It is important to provide support and care for those who suffer from depression. A few ways to support individuals suffering from depression include:
- Let them know that you are there to support them. Even though they may not ask for your help now, it is nice to know people care about them.
- Help them seek professional care. Encourage them to reach out to a mental health professional for treatment.
- Spend time with them. Isolation can be a cause of depression, and it is important to spend time with senior citizens to let them know they are not alone.
Remember that help is always available for individuals who are suffering from mental health issues, including depression.
Help Is Always Available for Depression in Seniors Citizens
Depression is more common among senior citizens than many people realize. There are multiple types of depression, and it is important to spot the signs and symptoms of depression as early as possible so that individuals can get the help they need.
Consider speaking to a therapist. If you are local to the Central Florida area, please call Counseling Resource Services for support and therapy.
If you are looking for a senior living community, it would be our pleasure to assist you. At North Star Senior Advisors, we can help you find a new home for yourself or your loved one. Contact us today to speak to our team!