For different reasons people over 60 can experience several episodes of depression .
Feelings of sadness, frustration or anger modify the daily life of the elderly. In this article we tell you how to detect a mental disorder of these characteristics in time.
Depression in the elderly: what to know
After retirement or retirement many people feel useless or life does not make sense. This type of thinking leads them to become depressed and not enjoy the remaining years to live (which can be 10, 15, 20 …).
Depression in the elderly is very common, although it is not part of the natural aging process.
This may be related to how much they have had to change in recent times , whether or not you receive recognition for what you have done in your life, how you get along with your family and what activities you can do.
Modifications in lifestyle since age 60 are really important.
For example, to go to work from Monday to Friday and meet a schedule is to get up early to stay at home and without much to do.
Some situations can lead to greater depression:
- Moving the family home (to live in a smaller place or shared with the children)
- Go to a center for the elderly
- Death of spouse, siblings or close friends
- Loss of independence
- Lack of obligations
- Few activities available
- Economic problems (change the lifestyle to which he was accustomed)
Depression in the elderly is not always taken into account by those around the elderly. The symptoms are dismissed because they believe it is something temporary or a whim of an older person.
However, when you keep negative emotions for a long time, it can cause physical pathologies and even in some cases stop eating or try to end your life.
It is also necessary to know that the discovery of some disease in someone of the third age can cause depression .
How to detect depression in the elderly?
However, reality does not always resemble this idyllic story …
Maybe we have to move to a nursing home because our relatives can not take care of us, our spouse has died or suffers from an illness and the physical pain we feel does not even allow us to move to the portal (much less to do any other activity).
The aging process for many is the worst stage of their lives.
The loss of friends and loved ones, feeling inferior or unprotected and the inability to serve society are very strong changes that a person must go through.
Children, grandchildren or nephews can detect the first symptoms of this mental disorder and help the elderly to understand that life is not over yet and has too much to experience yet.
Among the main symptoms that reveal a depression of this type are feelings of sadness and discouragement that last a long time (perhaps weeks), loss of interest in things that were done before retirement and lack of satisfaction or enjoyment of basic activities .
On the other hand the elder can also experience:
- More fatigue or fatigue than usual, even if you do not do any heavy activity.
- Loss of appetite (and as a consequence also of weight).
- Desire to isolate yourself from the people around you.
- Difficulties to fall asleep (in the third age it is much less sleep: 4 hours approximately).
There are other symptoms that we can analyze in our parents or grandparents: feelings of inferiority, guilt or distrust in themselves; suicidal ideas or strange behaviors (that I had never had before).
What to do in the face of an old man’s depression?
As a first step, we must remember that aging is a stage of life that can not be avoided . The ruinous feelings should not be part of this period that, like the others, also has good and bad things.
Physical or economic limitations are two of the reasons why someone feels depressed in old age.
- For the first ones you can always choose activities or tasks that are according to the particular condition.
- For the second, asking for help from relatives is not bad. It is an excellent way for them to repay everything the father or grandfather has given them.
On the other hand, the loved ones can not impose or compel the elder to do any particular activity if he does not want it.
Diplomacy in these cases usually works very well. Unless there is a risk of life or the person is very affected letting him make his life is a healthy recommendation.
And, of course, accompany him and not allow him to stay alone for a long time (make a weekly visit, for example).