Not merely feeling down, depression can manifest itself in a variety of ways. As a result, it’s possible that older people are depressed and are unaware of it. Subsyndromal depression is more common in people over the age of 50. They may experience fatigue, low appetite, constipation, pain, or poor sleep, as well as a general lack of enthusiasm in life. Some people may become concerned, confused, and forgetful, losing confidence or feeling like a burden in extreme circumstances online Therapy.
Causes of geriatric depression
Depression in old age is frequent, but it is not unavoidable. Loneliness, grief, long-term sickness, nursing homes and hospitalisation are all risk factors for depression. Contact the best Home Nursing Services for a better environment. Excessive alcohol can often contribute to depression, and having a history of mental health conditions like dementia can also play a role.
There is no one cause of depression in any age range, though. A recent study has also suggested that the condition may have a hereditary component. As a result, they’ve come to the conclusion that biological, social, and psychological factors all play a part in depression among seniors. The following factors can also contribute to depression:
If there is a lack of important neurotransmitter molecules ( such as serotonin and norepinephrine) in the brain.
Abuse or the death of someone they loved or any traumatic life events.
Older persons may become depressed as a result of a series of unexpected challenges, such as:
Bedridden or with restricted mobility
Isolation from friends and family
Having to deal with death
The shift from job to retirement is a difficult one.
Deaths of spouses, friends, and other loved ones
Substance addiction over a long time
Chronic medical illness
Since older adults are prone to a variety of diseases, these might lead to depression at times:
Parkinson’s disease ( a neurological disorder )
Coronary artery disease
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Symptoms of geriatric depression are frequently seen as a side effect of many routinely prescribed medications. Those who use a lot of drugs can be more vulnerable. While everyone can be affected by the mood-related side effects of some medications, older adults are especially vulnerable since their bodies become less efficient at metabolising and absorbing drugs as they become older.
If you become sad after starting a new drug, talk to your doctor immediately about lowering the dose or switching to a different medicine. This is why precautions should be taken when using certain medications like:
Medications for high blood pressure
Drugs to control high cholesterol
Parkinson’s disease medications
Drugs for ulcers
Heart drugs containing reserpine
Medications for arthritis
Anticholinergic drugs, which are used to treat gastrointestinal issues.
Symptoms of depression
The majority of the time, elderly folks who are depressed do not recognise the symptoms of depression or do not take the necessary steps to get help. There are various reasons why elderly depression is often disregarded, such as the assumption that they are depressed for a legitimate reason or that depression is a natural part of ageing. With few people around to see your distress, you may feel less understood and lonely, which can contribute to depression. It’s possible that you aren’t aware that your bodily concerns are symptoms of depression.
Risks of having depression
Depression can raise the chance of acquiring other illnesses and influence the severity of the hip fracture, stroke, and heart attack. It can be challenging to detect in elderly persons care as physical symptoms of depression could be mistaken for other long-term illnesses. Older adults may also be afraid of being stigmatised if they have depression. Therefore they may not seek care. As a result, it’s always a good idea to watch for the signs and symptoms that necessitate a deeper understanding of the symptoms.
Treatment of depression in elderly
Depression, like any other disease, may be treated by reducing risk factors, so start by asking questions, seeing the person, and understanding them rather than their age. Medicine, psychotherapy or counselling, electroconvulsive treatment, or other newer forms of brain stimulation are all options for treating depression (such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or RTMS). A combination of these treatments may be employed in some cases. A doctor’s recommendation is based on a variety of factors, including the kind and severity of depressive symptoms, previous therapies, and overall health. Try Home Physiotherapy Dubaiservices for the best experience.
Common forms of treatment for depression include:
Psychotherapy, counselling, or “talk therapy” is a type of therapy that can assist a person in identifying and changing problematic emotions, beliefs, and behaviours. It could be done with the help of a psychologist, a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a psychiatrist, or another qualified mental health care provider. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are two ways to treat depression (IPT).
Antidepressant drugs come in a variety of forms. They can help to balance hormones that affect mood, such as serotonin. Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are usually recommended to senior citizens. A psychiatrist, mental health nurse practitioner, or primary care physician can prescribe drugs and help monitor their effects.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a procedure that involves placing electrodes on a person’s head to allow a safe, mild electric current to travel through the brain. This sort of therapy is usually considered only after other therapies have failed to improve a person’s condition.
Support from family and friends, participation in self-help and support groups, and psychotherapy are all beneficial to the majority of depressed people. Psychotherapy is especially effective for those who have had substantial high levels of stress (such as the loss of friends and family, house relocations, and health issues) or who prefer not to take medicine and only have mild to moderate symptoms.
This is why we should help. First, we must change our perception that ageing brings depression since it does not. Second, you can assist your ageing parents or loved ones in connecting with professionals and resources that can help them manage their distress and relieve their pain. So, rather than ignoring these signs and symptoms, step in and share your worries, as well as assist them in connecting with the right professionals.