Aging is difficult and “not for sissies” as we have often heard. Some things about aging are true. Our bodies and metabolism slow down. Our energy levels and our ability to handle stress diminish with each decade. We lose muscle. We lose physical strength. Aging can be seen as a series of losses. Friends move away and/or die. Careers end. Children and grandchildren grow up and move away. Sounds like a “set-up” for depression? But depression doesn’t have to happen.
What are some of the indicators of depression in older adults?
- Feelings of “emptiness” or sadness, hopelessness or guilt.
- Loss of interest in activities.
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
- Somatic complaints such as headaches, digestive problems without a medical cause that do not respond to typical treatments.
If you, or someone you know is struggling with depression as an older adult, here are some things you can try to help:
- Be supportive, understanding, patient and encouraging.
- Make certain you are attending appointments and taking medications appropriately (many older adults who struggle with depression become increasingly forgetful. This can often be confused with “dementia” or “senior moment”. Another underlying cause for memory loss and confusion is depression).
- Include the individual (or yourself!) in activities and outings.
- Engage with others. Social support is necessary for the individual and caregivers!
Successful aging requires staying involved and staying connected. If you or your loved one think you may suffer from depression, see your doctor. Certain metabolic issues, including thyroid and other hormonal deficiencies can look like depression. When your doctor has ruled out medical problems, or traditional treatment does not help, give us a call. If depression or chronic pain prevents you or your loved one from enjoying the “golden years”, call the professionals at Ketamine Wellness Centers. Our comprehensive program will provide evaluation and cutting-edge treatments and programs that work. Let us help you find the joy in your later years. Call Ketamine Wellness Centers today!
Dr. Ellen Diamond is the Clinical Psychologist for Ketamine Wellness Centers.