You have finally reached the last phase of your life after a long and happening life full of events and experiences. Now you dream of enjoying life with your family and grandchildren but suddenly you have started feeling hopeless and helpless. Are you losing interest in all the activities that you once enjoyed? Do you feel that it’s becoming tough day by day to get through your entire day?
If it is so, then you will be happy to know that you are not the only person who is going through such tough times. All these feelings point towards depression and it can attack any person at any point of time regardless of your achievements and background. But the symptoms of this adult depression will impact every angle of your existence like sleep, relationship, appetite, energy, and hobbies.
Your symptoms need an eye and an ear:
When you are aging and depressed, you become reluctant to recognize your depressive symptoms or act accordingly so that others can render help. You hide behind the so-called beliefs set down by society towards people of your age.
- You start assuming that there are fair reasons for you to start feeling down and that depression in older people is quite a common phenomenon.
- You isolate yourself or situations may isolate you from your near ones; this condition is enough to depress you with no one around you to notice your despair
- You sometimes even fail to realize that your physical problems are signs of elderly depression.
- You are reluctant to seek help or discuss your depressing feelings
One important point which you should realize when you are hitting your sixties and seventies is that depression is not an inevitable aspect of your age; it is neither the flaw of your matured character nor should it be judged as your weakness. You recently retired from your job, your health is declining, or you recently lost your dear one; all these factors can sometimes cause anxiety and depression but that should not stop you from enjoying your much-longed dream.
Depression symptoms in adults:
When you feel lost and hopeless, you must conduct self-assessment so that you can recognize whether you are being attacked by the slow killer – “depression”. Some of the symptoms and signs which will confirm that depression is building the nest within you are:
- You will start feeling sad or in despair
- Your speech and movement will slow down
- You will lose interest in cultivating hobbies or socializing
- You will lose weight and suffer from poor appetite
- You will feel reluctant to care about yourself, forget medicines and neglect personal hygiene
- You will feel bonded with death and have suicidal thoughts
- You may even suffer from pains and aches
Depression or grief:
Although suffering from depressive disorders, many senior citizens shun from accepting the fact. The physical complaints which disturb them like worsening headaches and arthritis pain are also considered depression symptoms in adults. When we age, we encounter several losses; the loss is either of mobility or of independence, loss of your cherished career or of your dear one. Discriminating between depression and grief is not an easy task as the symptoms are quite the same.
When in grief you experience various emotions, grief is a mixture of good and bad days. Even though you are grieving you feel happy when you remember moments of happiness and pleasure. But when you are depressed, the feeling of despair and emptiness remain constant. Grief is not bounded by timetable but when grief seems to engulf all your joyful moments; you don’t laugh at good jokes or a hug doesn’t brighten your day, the beautiful sunshine fails to stimulate your senses then, grandpa, you are definitely suffering from depression.
Why you became the target?
There are immense reasons for you to feel depressed but there also exist some significant life-changing events that can make you vulnerable. Some of these are:
- Your illness and health problems, some recent surgery which has damaged your image, cognitive decline or severe pain; all this can contribute to adult depression
- You fear of dying and feel anxious about financial issues and health problems
- You live alone and your mobility has decreased because of your illness, your social circle is dwindling; all these acts as major contributors
- You recently lost your partner, or your dear friend or your pet. This is a very common cause to make you vulnerable
Some medical conditions are also responsible for causing elderly depression. Chronic medical ailments that are painful or which can disable you or threaten your life can trigger depression or worsen your symptoms. Some of these ailments comprise Parkinson’s disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Stroke, Thyroid disorders, and Dementia.
The deadly bond of antidepressants and adults:
As you age you become extra sensitive to the side effects of drugs, the interactions with different medicines you consume make you vulnerable. If you are on SSRIs like Prozac, you will experience drastic bone loss and this will heighten your risk of falls and fractures. Hence special monitoring is needed when you are on antidepressants.
Another point that you should remember is that consuming antidepressants does not guarantee your cure. These medications will decrease your symptoms to some extent but they won’t eliminate the underlying situations that are responsible for your condition. Hence indulging in therapy, meditation, lifestyle changes, and social support is crucial. These treatments can provide you long term and long-lasting relief.
Equip yourself before consuming antidepressants:
You need to equip yourself to tackle the side effects of antidepressants so that you can avoid the deadly drug interactions. This is possible only when you are fully aware of the antidepressant you are consuming. You must follow some guidelines in this context:
- Strictly follow the instructions prescribed by your physician, don’t stop the medications once you feel better
- Always keep track of the side effects and convey them to your doctor; visit your doctor regularly and inform them if your suicidal thoughts are on a rise
- Always remain alert about drug interactions
- Combine your antidepressant treatment with self-help methods and therapy
- Keep track of your medication necessities and symptoms
Grandpa, you alone can cure your mental health. You only have to be aware of your mental and physical being and give importance to every minute change that is occurring within you, be it some mental or some physical trait. Seek the help of your dear one and enjoy your long-desired life.