Resource Can Help Washington Seniors Recognize Depression

by Lois Etienne on February 2, 2011

in Senior Health and Safety

Senior-Woman-and-Daughter-Discussing-Home-CareQuestion: My mother has become more isolated and sullen.  I’m worried that she’s depressed.  How can I know for sure and do you have any suggestions?Only a doctor can know if your mom suffers from depression.  Encourage her to make an appointment as soon as possible.  When you have a diagnosis, you’ll know for sure.

According to the website NIHSeniorHealth.gov, following are signs of depression:

  • Feeling nervous or emotionally “empty”
  • Feelings of excessive guilt or worthlessness
  • Tiredness or a “slowed down” feeling
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Feeling like life is not worth living
  • Sleep problems, including trouble getting to sleep, very early morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Having persistent headaches, stomachaches or other chronic pain that does not go away when treated

The NIHSeniorHealth.gov site, a joint effort of the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine, includes resources about depression to better educate seniors and their families.

Changes that occur as people age–such as the loss of a spouse–can often lead to depression, although it is not considered a normal part of aging, experts say.

Please let us know if we can help.

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