Are You Depressed?
Depression in seniors is a lot more common than we let on. We point to aging as a reason for how we feel, but that’s not necessarily the case. There are any number of reasons why we might feel depressed: if we’ve recently lost someone in our life, if our health isn’t what it used to be, if we’re taking multiple prescriptions, if we’re alone or if we’ve retired and no longer feel vital.
Depression can impact all areas of our lives: our appetite, interest in activities, how we sleep and so much more. The key is to recognize the symptoms and get treated, because depression is treatable.
If you can point to at least one item on the following list as being true, it’s time to talk to your doctor.
–Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much.
–Losing interest in activities or hobbies you used to enjoy.
–Feeling isolated, or excluding yourself from activities with friends.
–Thinking about death.
–Skipping your medications, meals or baths.
–Feeling anxious, hopeless, guilty or irritable.
–Experiencing new aches and pains, or a worsening of existing ones.
–Having trouble concentrating.
Your doctor might ask a lot of questions and make a number of suggestions. He might recommend (as a place to start) that you get enough sleep or volunteer at a charity agency, make regular visits to friends or visit a nutritionist to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients in your diet. The key might be as simple as scheduling regular exercise and taking your medications on time all the time.
If you don’t feel like your normal self, there’s help for you. Please go to your doctor and ask for it.
Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to email@example.com.
(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.