Discovering Depression

  • Depression is an illness that can affect a large proportion of the elderly community – and it can have both physical and emotional symptoms.
  • Be considerate to those who have depression as there is no single cause or trigger – and it be a complex topic to discuss or explain.
  • Stay positive as there are a wide range of treatments available – and combining these treatments with other lifestyle changes, such as diet, can have a greater positive impact.

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 70% of men and women over the age of 65 experience depression in the UK. Therefore, the more we learn about depression, the better we can manage it for ourselves and for our loved ones.

Depression can be a complex topic to discuss with some unwarranted negative connotations surrounding it. This blog post will hopefully help untangle any misconceptions about depression and looks at the common symptoms associated with this health condition. Understanding depression a little more can help us identify and monitor the different ways depression can manifest and how we can best treat it.

What is depression?

Depression is a common mood disorder which can present itself as physical and emotional difficulties. To be diagnosed with depression, an individual must experience five or more symptoms during a 2-week period.

Here are some common symptoms:

  1. Depressed mood: This can manifest in several ways. It can come in the form of low energy, a lack of interest in activities that you once enjoyed or even a persistent feeling of sadness.
  2. Significant weight loss or gain: A physical symptom of depression is experiencing an irregular decrease or increase in appetite which will lead to irregular weight alteration.
  3. Fatigue or loss of energy: Individuals suffering with depression can feel tired or exhausted. It can feel tiresome to continue with the day or engage in normal daily activities especially if this is combined with a loss in appetite.
  4. Feelings of worthlessness: This is an emotional symptom of depression. Individuals who are depressed will likely experience an intense feeling of inappropriate guilt or negative feelings associated with themselves.
  5. Suicidal ideation: Linked to the emotional symptoms, people who live with depression can develop recurrent thoughts of death. They may even go as far to form specific plans of a suicide attempt even if they don’t go through with it.

What to do if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression?

There is no single cause of depression as it can occur for a variety of reasons or be triggered by one or many events. So it’s important to be considerate to those who are suffering because they might not be able to explain exactly why they are feeling the way they do. What you must do is seek advice from a certified healthcare professional to assess the person who is suffering and get the right help. People who suffer with depression may require therapy, medication or other forms of treatment to help manage their symptoms. The good news is that there is a wide variety of treatments out there and combining these treatments with other lifestyle changes, such as healthier eating and regular exercise, can have a positive impact on the road to recovery.

It is important to keep in mind that depression is not a normal part of the aging process. Depression should be taken seriously, like any other illness or health condition. And thankfully, depression is generally treatable. Do reassure your loved ones about this fact as it is important to keep them feeling positive.

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