Because it is Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted take a look at one of the branches that often goes unnoticed or unchecked; depression in seniors. There are many factors that can cause depression in seniors to fly under the radar. The passing of their close friends, siblings, or spouses can leave them without the built-in support systems that younger people may have more readily available. Also, seniors can tend to be more isolated due to the increased difficulty in going out whether because of mobility or access to transportation.
Some of the most common symptoms of depression in seniors are:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, or emptiness
- Increased irritability or restlessness
- Loss of enjoyment in activities
- Persistent fatigue
- Changes in your regular sleep patterns (sleeping more or less)
- Changes in your eating (eating more or less)
- Thoughts of death or suicide
If you or a loved one is experiencing one or more of these symptoms for more than two weeks, it is a good idea to go see a doctor. Untreated depression can lead to a whole host of health problems. It is important to remember that depression is not a side-effect of getting older. There are multiple ways to treat it! If you need any resources, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we would gladly provide you with some!
“Depression and Older Adults.” National Institute on Aging. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed May 4, 2022. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/depression-and-older-adults.