Depression and Anxiety about Aging

There are a number of common signs when it comes to depression, especially in elderly or gaining individuals. For example, you may notice a loved one is expressing negativity or a hopeless attitude, or a growing disinterest in their favorite activities. These changes are not always a natural part of getting older, but often mark symptoms that someone is suffering from depression if they persist. Depression is a serious medical condition with physical and emotional effects on daily life, but can be treated regardless of age, sex or state of health if identified early enough.

Understanding Depression

Chronic depression is an incessant state when sadness, hopelessness, and anxiety affect someone’s daily life or ability to think about the things most common to them. Chronic depression knows no time restrictions, as it can last several days, weeks or years. When it comes to geriatric depression, it is not a transitory state triggered by grief or worry about one’s mortality. Rather, in older adults, the beginning of depression can go unnoticed until mental and physical side effects are more noticeable by others. Older adults have a higher risk of depression than younger individuals do, so it is important to understand the specific causes and effects.

Comprehending Causes

A single identifiable cause for depression is impossible to pin down, even though tragic events or high stress levels can trigger the illness. However, depression can also begin in times of peace and tranquility. Depression is classified by changes in neurological chemistry, which brings on alterations in mood and other symptoms. Geriatric depression is most commonly associated with the management of a chronic illness like cancer, heart disease, or Parkinson’s disease. Depression could emerge slowly in these cases, because the struggle to face such conditions transpires daily.

Some research indicates that depression has a genetic component, but a history of depression earlier in life generally increases the risk for a re-emergence in old age. Although many other genetic conditions or diseases may not be treatable, depression is manageable if identified and diagnosed early enough.

Observing Effects

Depression does not just pose mental challenges, but physical ones, especially for elderly individuals. In fact, elders with depression exhibit higher mortality rate than others their age who seem to cope with mortality appropriately. For example, depression can create unhealthy eating habits, memory issues, insomnia, and sluggish reaction times. All of these effects increase the chance for earlier death.

In sum, depressed elders may verbalize their hopelessness, persistent pessimism, or guilt and irritability more than others. You may also see a loss of interest and lower than normal levels of energy. Persistent aches and pains that are not attributed to existent conditions have also been reported. So, helping victims of geriatric depression is best done by professionals, such as those who work in assisted living facilities. These specialists are available around the clock, increasing the chances for a faster recovery than therapy offers on a scarcer basis.