Why Aging and Depression Often Go Hand-in-Hand
say that with age comes wisdom, and for some, that may be true. But with age also
comes some very big challenges. In addition to dealing with the onset of
disease and physical disabilities, older people must face loss: the loss of a spouse,
loss of friends, loss of siblings, and even the loss of memories.
“Getting old is not for sissies.” – Bette
you consider all of this loss, it’s not surprising that aging and depression
often go hand-in-hand. While feeling sadness over these losses is a normal part
of life, some people experience profound depression.
if earlier in your life you never really experienced depression, how do you
know the difference between it and sadness? Here are some signs of depression:
sleeping (either falling asleep, staying asleep or both)
change in appetite
mood swings (such as irritability and anger)
some time in our lives, most of us have experienced one or two of these
symptoms. But when you experience more than one or two at a time, and these
feelings linger and deepen, that is a clear indicator of depression.
Beating Depression Will
someone who has faced so much loss becomes depressed, what can they do to feel
better? The answer to that question is to seek the help of a therapist who can
help you navigate your emotions, offer tools for mood management and even
prescribe medications if they feel it will help.
there lies the conundrum.
suffering from depression often feel helpless, that is to say, they feel they
are beyond being helped. When a
person feels that no one and nothing can help them, they will not seek help and
refuse it when it is offered. In fact, some depressed people even become
angered when loved ones try to help.
is when trust becomes a vital component to getting well. Older people have
spent a lifetime forming relationships with family and friends. They know the
connection and love is genuine. Therefor they must trust that when a loved one comes to them and says, “I love you and
I’m concerned. I think you’re depressed and you need some help…” they recognize
they are coming from a loving place and trust they want what’s best for them.
you yourself have tried to help an older loved one but they refuse to listen,
consider having someone else they might trust even more speak with them. This
could be an old colleague, their doctor, or your local pastor. And sometimes
you may just have to get a group together and have an intervention.
you or a loved one is suffering from depression, you can feel better. You can
remember that life is worth living, even while feeling so much pain and sorrow.
If you would like to explore treatment options, please contact me. I would be
happy to speak with you about how I may help.