Geriatric Depression

Geriatric Depression

February 24 2024 TalktoAngel 0 comments 142 Views

Geriatric depression is a kind of depression that affects elderly people. A lack of interest, Low Motivation, sadness, hopelessness, and routine activities are its defining characteristics. It can be caused by various factors such as Physical Health problems, changes in lifestyle, and the loss of loved ones. Early detection and holistic interventions are crucial for enhancing the well-being of elderly individuals experiencing depression. It is important to seek help if you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of geriatric depression.

In older adults, depression can present with some of the following signs and symptoms:

1. Persistent feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or worthlessness

2. Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed

3. Sleep disturbances, including Insomnia or excessive sleeping

4. Changes in appetite and weight

5. Fatigue and low energy levels

6. Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things

7. Aches and Chronic Pain without a clear physical cause

8. Thoughts of death or suicide

9. Social withdrawal and Isolation

10. Substance abuse and Addiction

It's important to note that depression in older adults c4an sometimes4 present differently than in younger adults and may be accompanied by physical symptoms such as changes in appetite and sleep patterns. If an elderly you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, it's important to seek professional help from the Best Psychologist in India.

Causes of geriatric depression

The causes of geriatric depression are multi-factorial and can include:

 

  • Physical health problems: Chronic illnesses, disabilities, and pain can contribute to feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
  • Medications: Certain medications can cause side effects such as fatigue and decreased interest in activities.
  • Life changes: Retirement, the death of a spouse or other close relative, and money problems can all cause depression in older people.
  • Social isolation: Lack of social support and loneliness can increase the risk of depression in older adults. It is one of the major risk factors for depression in older adults. Loneliness can stem from a variety of factors such as loss of loved ones, decreased social engagement, or decreased mobility. The social isolation and emotional emptiness that often come with loneliness can lead to depression and exacerbate its symptoms.

Older adults need to have meaningful social connections, whether it's through family, friends, or community activities. If left unaddressed, loneliness can become a chronic condition that can negatively impact both mental and physical health.

Suppose an older adult you know is experiencing loneliness and symptoms of depression. In that case, it's important to reach out for support from family, friends, and mental health professionals like psychologists and Online Therapists. Additionally, there are programs and support groups available specifically designed to address loneliness and depression in older adults.

  • Substance abuse: Substance abuse and alcohol consumption can also contribute to depression in older adults.
  • Brain changes: There may be physical changes in the brain that contribute to depression as people age.

 

It is important to seek medical help to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment for geriatric depression.

 

How can online therapy help with Geriatric depression?

 

Therapy can help with geriatric depression by providing individuals with:

 

  • A protected and encouraging environment where they can express their sentiments.
  • An opportunity to identify and change negative thought patterns that may contribute to depression.
  • Various skills for managing difficult emotions and life challenges.
  • A strengthened support system and improved relationships with loved ones.
  • They have improved communication skills for expressing their needs and resolving conflicts.
  • Strategies for managing stress and improving overall mental and physical well-being.

 

Therapy can be conducted in individual or group settings, and different forms of therapy such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and psychodynamic therapy can be effective in treating geriatric depression. The type of therapy that works best will depend on the individual and their specific needs and preferences.

 

How can a family of the elderly help in overcoming depression?

 

Family and loved ones can play a significant role in helping an elderly person overcome depression by:

 

  • Being supportive: Listen and offer emotional support, validation, and understanding to the elderly person.
  • Encouraging activities: Encourage and support them in engaging in activities they once enjoyed, or finding new hobbies to fill their time and increase their sense of purpose.
  • Staying connected: Encourage social activities and visits with friends and family to help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  • Promoting healthy habits: Encourage them to maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep to improve their overall physical and mental well-being.
  • Accommodating their needs: Be open to changing their living environment or routines to better meet their needs and improve their overall well-being.

 

Remember that depression is treatable and with the right support, an elderly person can make a full recovery and regain a sense of joy and purpose in life.

 

Contributed by: Dr (Prof) R K Suri, Clinical PsychologistCounsellor, & Life Coach & Ms Varshini Nayyar, Psychologist



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