It may seem inevitable that depression is a normal part of aging, but the fact is that depression which seems so prevalent in older adults is more likely the result of changes which often come later in life.
Retirement and a feeling of purposelessness, the death of more loved ones, the medical issues which often accompany getting older, and the isolation due to the death of a spouse and/or an “empty nest” are all issues that generally occur later in life – and are also issues which often lead to depression.
Symptoms of depression such as fatigue, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping can indeed be a part of certain physical conditions of aging, and therefore may be ignored or misinterpreted as other conditions which become common as we age.
Depression should always be treated. Not only for the mental health reasons but because it may be symptomatic of other conditions. For example, it may be an indicator of:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Heart disease
- Thyroid disorders
- Vitamin B12 deficinecy
- Multiple Sclerosis
Or it may be a side effect to medications common to older adults, such as:
- Blood pressure medication
- Ulcer medication
- Sleep aids
- High cholesterol medication
- Certain heart drugs
- Parkinson’s medication
Depression will adversely affect energy, appetite, sleep, interest in activities and relationships. And with the increase likelihood of isolation, there may not be as many opportunities for others to notice the symptoms.
Recognizing depression is a good thing, but treating it almost always requires more than just willpower. The good news is there are there are many options for successfully treating depression – and allowing for the rich opportunities that available time and wisdom of later years affords.
The first step may be to confide in a counselor or therapist. If you or someone you know may be suffering from depression, the qualified professionals at Counselors on Demand offer essential talk therapy in a way that makes it easy for those with restricted mobility or access.
Contact COD today for a free 30-minute meeting and discover the convenience of face-to-face online sessions – when and where you need them.