Depression affects 17.3 million adults in the U.S. It’s not just for younger adults either. Adults over the age of 50 accounts for almost 5 percent of those who are depressed. Depression is common in seniors for many reasons. A diagnosis of a chronic illness, the death of a significant other, or hormonal changes are common factors.
Sadness and Depression Are the Same Thing
Depression is not the same as being sad. With depression, you may feel sad, but it lasts weeks and weeks. It extends into months and months. You feel more than sadness, however. You become disinterested in things you used to enjoy. You don’t want to socialize. You’re happier staying in bed all day.
People With Depression Are Weak
There is a common belief that people who are depressed are weak individuals. People see those with depression as meek, shy individuals. That’s not the case. If you look at some of the well-known celebrities who have been diagnosed with depression, you’d never associate them as being weak.
Beyonce is a powerful female singer. People associate her with power, sex appeal, and energy. She’s also depressed. On stage, she takes on a persona to power through her performance.
How about Frank Sinatra? Many of his past girlfriends have admitted that he suffered from depression. Ava Gardner, a long-time girlfriend, admitted she’d caught him trying to commit suicide three times.
Depression Affects Everyone the Same Way
Depression is not the same for everyone. Some people can’t get out of bed. Others will keep to routines, but stop doing things they used to love. They’ll withdraw from friends and family and refuse to leave the home. Depression may cause physical pain in some and lack of energy in others.
Medications Are the Only Way to Treat Depression
Some people have a fear of seeing a doctor because they dread being prescribed medications. Not every person needs medications. Counseling, support groups, and exercise programs help people manage depression. Diet can also help.
Depression Only Occurs After Something Traumatic Happens
While the death of a spouse or a frightening diagnosis can trigger the start of a senior’s depression, it doesn’t have to be triggered by a traumatic event. Depression can occur at any time for any reason. Sometimes, it just appears and you really don’t know why.
When your parent is depressed, one of the important things is to not let them isolate themselves. They may not want to go out, but you can bring an elderly care aide into the home to make sure they socialize with someone. Call an elderly care agency to start a discussion into helping your parent with companionship.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from Senior Care in Martinez, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.