A senior woman, who is experiencing signs of depression, looks out the window.

Recognizing and Addressing Depression in Older Adults

Bethesda Health | May 4, 2021

You may be familiar with the old song, “Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.”  In asking individuals if they feel they are depressed, I have often heard “I’m not sure how I would know.” Depression in older adults must first be diagnosed as the root of the issue, then can be addressed appropriately.

How Can I Tell if I’m Depressed?

It is not unusual for any of us to allow signs of depression to go unnoticed in ourselves as we age.  Sometimes changes happen gradually and we may feel we are no different than ever. Some individuals may not want to admit feeling depressed, thinking “I should be able to deal with this myself.” Asking the following questions may be helpful in deciding if you are depressed and may need to seek some additional support.

Signs of Depression in Older Adults

As we age, we may find we have more reasons for being depressed. We may experience health problems, loss of friends or family members, or have feelings of less purpose in our lives. But it is possible to take steps to rid ourselves of these feelings and begin to enjoy life again.

Taking Action Against Depression

We all need other people in our lives. If you do not have someone with whom you can discuss your thoughts and feelings, consider talking to a social worker, counselor or clergy person. Support groups can be very helpful and may help a person to realize there are many people who have a need for some extra help in getting through the difficulties in life.

Your doctor may recommend a medication to help with the process of feeling better. Medication for treatment of depression in older adults can be highly successful.

Anything that can help in lifting those overwhelming, heavy feelings is certainly worth a try to get a person started towards enjoying life again!

Find more health & wellness tips like these on Bethesda’s blog.

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