Seniors and Depression
Everyone encounters sadness in life. It is part of being a thoughtful, caring person. But sometimes, it goes beyond that. Clinical depression is not a sad feeling that can be cured by going to a funny movie or having a drink with a friend. It is a mood disorder that often requires medication and/or therapy. For a large percentage of Seniors, however, this is not something with which they are comfortable. Therefore, it often goes untreated.
For many Seniors, they came of age in a time where people were taught that feelings were something you dealt with privately, then went on about your day. Remember the old saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” Knowing what we do about the physical effects that can come from psychological issues, few doctors would agree with that statement today.
As people get older, they often dwell on the past. All the issues with which they never dealt, pop up. And because these have never been conscious issues before, they dismiss them or consider themselves crazy for even giving them a second thought. What is in the past should stay in the past, right? Well, that’s not always true.
If left untreated, depression in Seniors can be far more damaging to their health than to any other age group. Not only is there a possibility for suicide, but there is also an increased risk of insomnia, immune system problems, and complications from other illnesses.
Depression is no longer something of which to be ashamed. It is a medical problem, no different from heart disease or pneumonia. It can be treated. And treatment can help a person live out the rest of their life with a happier, healthier outlook.