Understanding Geriatric Depression

Senior woman suffering from depression

It is normal to feel occasionally sad and blue; however, if a person stays in this mood for extended periods, there is something wrong. Older adults and seniors may also experience bouts of geriatric depression. The latter is an emotional and mental illness that may affect the elderly. This disorder reduces the quality of life and may push a person to suicide.

What causes geriatric depression?

Experts from assisted living communities in Las Vegas cite that the onset of depression in the elderly has social, biological and psychological roots that you need to identify and understand. Some of the factors that cause geriatric depression include:

  1. Traumatic life events
  2. Low levels of norepinephrine and serotonin
  3. Isolation
  4. Financial difficulties
  5. Moving from a job to retirement
  6. Death of a spouse or divorce
  7. Medical problems

These are some of the causes of geriatric depression; once you see or notice a senior loved one experience these. Learn to reach out to prevent further isolation and depression.

What are the symptoms?

Now that you know the causes, you must also be able to identify the symptoms, some of which include:

  1. Irritability
  2. Apathy
  3. Extreme sadness
  4. Crying spells
  5. Restlessness
  6. Sleeping problems
  7. Difficulty concentrating and others

These symptoms allow you to identify if your elderly loved one is dealing with this form of depression.

Treating Geriatric Depression

Depression can hit anyone, regardless of their age, just like there is no one cause of this mental ailment, there is no silver bullet that miraculously treats one person. Treatments include medication, therapy, lifestyle changes and other methods.

Some of the treatments for geriatric depression include:

  1. Tricyclic antidepressants
  2. Enough sleep
  3. A balanced and nutritious diet
  4. More exercise and physical activity
  5. A strong social circle of friends and family

The treatment process takes time and will take a combination of the abovementioned methods. Provide support for the elderly loved one dealing with depression; the last thing they need is to feel lonely.