Depression is a medical issue that may be treated and not considered a natural aspect of aging. Nonetheless, your loved ones are more likely to develop depression, especially if they are isolated for lengthy periods. The elderlies themselves are likely not to request support as they do not realize that with proper therapy, they could feel much better. If you’re worried about a loved one, here are several symptoms to note and treatments to tackle depression in the elderly.
Geriatric depression is a mental and emotional condition that affects elderly people. Sadness and feeling blue once in a while are quite natural. But long-term depression, on the other hand, is not a common component of aging. Subsyndromal depression is more prevalent in elderly persons and does not necessarily match all of the major depression parameters. However, if left untreated, it can escalate to severe depression.
Know the Symptoms
The depressive symptoms vary from person to person. The degree of signs, as well as how frequently they occur and how long they remain, can all vary. But your family member is likely to be considered depressed if they have experienced a few of the following depression symptoms roughly every day for at least 14 days:
- Self-harm or suicidal behaviors
- Feeling gloomy, nervous, or emptiness
- Facing extreme fatigue or a lack of energy
- Dealing with lots of anger, irritation, or annoyance
- Troubles sleeping, waking up early, or tend to oversleep
- Having trouble focusing, recalling, or making judgments
- Engulfed with a sense of hopelessness, worthlessness, and unhappiness
- Chronic physical discomfort that has no obvious cause and does not improve with therapies
Consider These Treatments
Medication, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive treatment, or other emerging forms of brain stimulation all seem to be options for treating depression. A combination of these procedures may be employed in some cases. A doctor’s recommendation is based on a wide range of factors, including previous prescriptions, general wellbeing, and the kind and severity of depressive symptoms.
While drugs can aid your loved ones with depression, research has suggested that some older antidepressants, such as amitriptyline and imipramine, can cause disorientation, or a dip in blood pressure when one gets up. This could lead to unwanted falls and fractures. You may want to find out more from your parents’ physician on the side effects of such antidepressants.
Many clinicians combine psychotherapy and antidepressant medications in their treatment plans. Counseling is very useful for people who have had substantial traumatic life events or who only have subclinical indications. It’s also beneficial for individuals who are unable to take medications due to adverse effects or other health conditions. In elderly persons, psychotherapy can help with a variety of functional and social repercussions of depression.
Last but not least, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be quite effective in the management of depression in elderly adults. When typical antidepressants aren’t an ideal solution due to side effects, or the condition is serious and meddles with basic everyday functions, or the risk of death is particularly high, ECT is a secure and reliable therapy.
Now that you have a substantial understanding of depression in the elderly, be mindful to pay extra attention to the symptoms your loved one may be exhibiting. Consider the above treatment options as you enter the doctor’s office to discuss the details.