Depression when you age is becoming more and more popular these days. Depression is a state of mind in which a person feels mentally and emotionally lost. In this state, a person experiences a sudden change in mood and sadness most of the time. Depression can affect the person from every age but typically it is found to dominate at an older age. At this stage of life, depression can continue for the rest of life.
At an older age, people normally suffer from subsyndromal depression. However, this is not a full depression state which creates a problem. But, if it is left untreated, can lead to serious consequences. Besides these, it can affect people adversely in the sense that they lose interest in everything. In rare cases, a person can commit suicide as well. According to a survey, the suicide rate above 80 years is twice higher than in the normal population. Hence, it is very important to understand the symptoms and treatments of depression.
Causes of Depression When you Age
There is no particular cause for depression at any stage in life. Some research studies revealed that it is related to genetic factors. However, another study portrays that only social, biological and psychological factors dominate over other factors.
Depression in elders can be related to health factors majorly. These can be cardiac diseases. Else there can be an underlying cause of long term illness. A study in the nursing home says that “the main reason for depression is when your age is the physical illness”. Besides this, it is also associated with the fear of death.
Factors contributing to Depression among Older Adults:
- The lower level of chemicals in the brain can affect neurotransmitters.
- A higher chance when you have a family history related to depression.
- Death of loved ones or any accident leading trauma. Such incidents change the mental stage of older people.
In addition to these, some common factors related to aging contribute to depression:
- Isolation with limited mobility in life.
- Changes in life like retirement or sometimes shifting to old age homes.
- The financial crisis and confronting mortality.
- In some cases, prolonged abuse by family members or at work can be a cause.
- Death of any closed one including family and friends can lead to depression when you age.
- Death of spouse or divorce can be difficult to handle by old-aged adults.
- The chance of depression is higher in females than males as they are emotionally more attached to others.
In addition to changes in life, continuous drug consumption can be responsible in some cases.
Symptoms of Depression When you Age
Symptoms of depression when you age are similar to the people of other ages as well:
- Sadness with feeling unimportant
- Restlessness, fatigue, sleepless nights due to physical pain
- Irritation along with the lack of concentration
- A sudden drop in appetite
- Thoughts of suicide attempt
Diagnosis of Depression in Older Adults
Thus, depression is a serious form that can lead to a higher risk of a heart attack. Due to this reason, the elderly person in your family or close ones should be checked and treated on time. Hence, diagnosis is important even if the depression is mild. Though, complete diagnosis is not possible by doctors. But, the people staying together can observe general behavior and symptoms.
If any symptoms are noticed, one should consult the doctor immediately. The doctor will look at the common symptoms experienced by the disturbed person. It will include mood swings, food habits, daily routine activities, and related family conditions as well. You will also be asked about your family health history.
Questions asked by the Doctor:
- The duration of the time period since when you are feeling depressed.
- What is the main reason behind feeling depressed?
- Any past record of depression as well.
The diagnosed person will show signs of depression signs for more than two weeks. If this is not the case, the situation can be just temporary. Hence, carefully lookout for the symptoms of depression.
Treatment of Depression at Later Stage of Life
Similar to multiple reasons for depression, treatment can’t be just one. One treatment does not work equally well for everyone. Thus, depending on the person’s condition, treatment selection can take time. The most common treatments are medicines prescription, counseling or electroconvulsive therapy as well. In addition to medicines, make some changes in your lifestyle as well. It will help to improve the condition drastically.
Treatment Involving Lifestyle Changes:
- Include physical exercise. A morning walk can make you feel lively and fresh.
- Join art classes and find a project or interest to keep yourself busy.
- Meeting friends, close ones regularly.
- Taking proper rest with sleep as per daily requirement.
- Choosing healthy and well-balanced food as a regular diet.
Various therapies are also recommended by doctors. Thus, it can include psychotherapy. This will help people to tackle their depression. In a therapy session, the therapist will sit in a private room along with you to give you complete privacy. That way you can share all your thoughts. Hence, feel relax by sharing your grief or problems with a therapist if you have no one else to share.