Depression in the Elderly
Depression in later life frequently coexists with other medical illnesses and disabilities. As people age they begin to loose their support systems, they experience continued loss due to the death of a spouse or siblings, retirement and also relocation all play a role in ones mental status.
People expect elderly to naturaly slow down as they age, therefore depression is often over looked in the elderly. Depression tends to last longer in elderly adults. It also inhibits an elderly persons ability to heal and rehabilitate after an injury or illness.
Symptoms of Depression:
· Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
· Fatigue and decreased energy
· Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and or helplessness
· Insomnia, early morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
· Irritability, restlessness
· Loss of interest in activities or hobbies
· Loss of interest in sex
· Overeating or appetite loss
· Persistent aches and pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
· Sadness that doesn’t go away, anxious or “empty” feeling
· Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
Additional information can be found at WebMD.com, Depression Guide.