Offers may be subject to change without notice. Depression is not normal bereavement or stress. This holiday season the number of people who will be stricken with depression is expected to increase due to COVID-19. Now i can see that i have to be kind to myself and accept that there is an overwhelming side to depression. Depression is common in older people but often overlooked and untreated. They may help improve the way your brain uses certain chemicals that control mood or stress. If this happens, an older adult with no family history of depression may develop what is sometimes called “vascular depression.” Those with vascular depression also may be at risk for heart disease, stroke, or other vascular illness. 202-336-6123 (TDD/TTY)www.apa.org, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance  Call the toll-free, 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889). Physical distancing guidelines and travel restrictions can also cause people to feel isolated or lonely. There are several types of depressive disorders. There are many symptoms associated with depression, and some will vary depending on the individual. Use these strategies to manage the symptoms of depression, promote positive thinking, alleviate stress, and boost your self-esteem. Educating yourself about what to expect, and taking care of your body will help support your positive attitude. Learn more about depression from the National Institute of Mental Health. ", "Older adults often say, 'I am not sad,' or 'I am not lonely,' because they don't want to be a burden on the family," says Dr. Streim. Depression, especially in middle-aged or older adults, can co-occur with other serious medical illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease. After a period of adjustment, many older adults can regain their emotional balance, but others do not and may develop depression. Antidepressants take time, usually 2 to 4 weeks, to work. Older people are at risk for depression, are underserved by the mental health profession, and have the highest rates of suicide in the country. Do something that makes you feel connected to a higher power. Depression affects more than 6 percent of the adult population in the United States. For older adults who experience depression for the first time later in life, the depression may be related to changes that occur in the brain and body as a person ages. "If your parent is not eating for more than a few days, or loses interest in activities that used to give her pleasure for more than two weeks, it could be depression," says Dr. Streim. The most common forms of treatment for depression are medication and psychotherapy. Getty Images. Other types of talk therapy, like problem-solving therapy, can be helpful for people with depression. Nancy has a lifetime of experience with depression, experiencing firsthand how devastating this illness can be. Stress and depression can ruin your holidays and hurt your health. Here's What to Do, 9 Signs It's More Serious Than the Common Cold, How Your Period Changes During Your 20s, 30s, and 40s, 12 Anxiety Symptoms That Might Point to a Disorder, Shannen Doherty Reveals Stage 4 Breast Cancer Diagnosis—Here's What It Means, The Best (and Worst) Diets of 2020, According to Experts, 10 Moves for a Cardio Workout at Home—No Equipment Required, These 13 Women Prove Every Body Is a Bikini Body, 20 Things You Should Throw Away for Better Health. Nancy Schimelpfening. Yet, treating the depression will help an older adult better manage other conditions he or she may have. For older adults who are already taking several medications for other conditions, it is important to talk with a doctor about any adverse drug interactions that may occur while taking antidepressants. "Hi there!" An episode can occur only once in a person’s lifetime, but more often, a person has several episodes. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for 2 years to be considered persistent depressive disorder. For example, older adults may suffer from restricted blood flow, a condition called ischemia. Regular exercise may also help prevent depression or lift your mood if you are depressed. The symptoms of anxiety can be hard to detect. Major depression involves severe symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. Changes in moods, health and life constantly disrupt us. Do not use herbal medicines such as St. John’s wort before talking with your healthcare provider. At a table in front of his display, I sat on one side of him while his assistant sat on the other; we greeted prospective buyers as they walked by. Feeling better takes time, but it can happen. If you think you may have depression, start by making an appointment to see your doctor or healthcare provider. Health.com may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Sometimes people taking antidepressants feel better and then stop taking the medication on their own, but then the depression returns. Pick something you like to do. A doctor can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests. Call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room to get immediate help, or ask a friend or family member to help you. For example, if a patient says she can't sleep, he uses that as a hook to discuss ideas about how to sleep better or longer. i think this is true of many western cultures. Instead, help your elderly relative break tasks into steps and praise them for any efforts. Anxiety and depression are not a normal part of getting older even though it affects more people over the age of 55 than any other age. A few months ago, I spent an afternoon helping out an art dealer friend at a print fair. Sometimes medications taken for these physical illnesses may cause side effects that contribute to depression. Clean out expired products and clutter to make way for a healthier you. For a number of reasons, male depression often goes undiagnosed and can have devastating consequences when it goes untreated. It's really important to hear them out and honor their emotions. Method 1 Dealing with aging and mental health issues can be rough. When you have depression, you have trouble with daily life for weeks at a time. Listening offers direct comfort and support. Fortunately the National Institute of Health says depression is very treatable, with up to 80 percent of sufferers finding some relief within four to six weeks of getting medication or counseling. "One of the hardest questions I get from families is, 'How can I get my elderly loved one mental health help when they don't want it?' this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Depression is a real illness. Coping with Getting Older, Depression, Aging Care Resources. Getting Over Getting Older The fear of aging and why baby boomers are the victims of the anti-aging epidemic. How to handle a physician who doubts or dismisses your symptoms. Depression, even severe depression, can be treated. 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