Depression, also widely referred to as clinical depression or depressive disorder, is the dominantly prevailing mental health issue in elders. However, mental health disorders are overlooked in old age due to the stigma built around them. It is important to address these issues and not confuse them with symptoms of aging.
While depression is common in all age groups, elders are more prone to suffer from this condition. This is because of various reasons, such as health issues, loss of loved ones, aging, financial problems, etc. If you are a caregiver or living with a senior, there are certain signs that you can look out for in a depressed person, such as:
- Withdrawing from activities
- Poor sleeping cycles/habits
- Weight fluctuations
- Suicidal thoughts
The best way to counter depression is through open communication. Senior citizens have a higher tendency of depression; however, this is not because of old age. Treatment can be started by consulting a doctor and being vocal about the challenges being faced. Doctors will choose either medication or therapy to tackle mental health-related issues.
Consulting with a psychiatrist for psychotherapy can help with depression. The duration of this kind of therapy can vary from person to person, depending on the severity of the case at hand.
During the therapy, the focus lies on keeping away pessimistic thoughts. Interpersonal communication can also be a kind of psychotherapy, particularly when personal relationships tend to be the reason to hamper mental conditions.
Medications for depression
Antidepressants are the most commonly known medications for curing depression. As there are different types of antidepressant medication, finding the one that suits the specific state is very important. Overcoming depression even with medications is a tedious process and works through phases. There will be a gradual change in the person’s overall lifestyle towards overcoming the complication, and the common symptoms of depression will start to diminish.
It is essential to consult a medical professional before consuming medications to counter depression. It is important to note that altering the dosage of medications without consulting an expert can be detrimental. Patients are known to reduce or stop their medications after they feel their conditions are improving. However, an abrupt change to the medication dosage can result in a relapse.
Depression, along with several other medical conditions, is a critical mental health issue that directly affects your physical health. Therefore, it is important as an individual, partner, or caregiver to look out for symptoms and take the appropriate measures.