In the midst of losses such as physical changes death of friends or loved ones and reduction of income older people may begin showing signs…

Try: In the midst of losses such as physical changes death of friends or loved ones and reduction of income older people may begin showing signs of depression some things to look for are inability to concentrate or make decisions lack of feelings of enjoyment or enthusiasm even for doing those things that were favorites little interest in eating causing weight loss or changes in eating habits overeating causing weight gain lack of interest in being with other people or loss of sex drive libido feeling unwanted and worthless sometimes leading to the thought that life is not worth living sadness or crying spells for no apparent reason problems with sleeping sleeplessness during the night or excessive sleep during most of the day feeling tired most of the time regardless of adequate rest if older people brood about their unhappiness much of their energy is focused on worry part of that worry may relate to the fear that they will become forgetful and unable to manage their affairs this worry can lead down the path to more depression which may cause physical problems exploring the cause of depression the following questions should be asked # is there a physical or medical problem causing the depression # have there been changes in hearing seeing moving or other body functions # what social contact does the carereceiver have # what are the opportunities for usefulness # what kind of personal losses death of friends relatives or pets have there been # is the older person getting proper nutrition # what kind of mental stimulation is the person getting # has there been a difficult adjustment following retirement # is the focus entirely on the past or is there some enthusiasm about coming events # is there a possibility of reaction to medications # is there a dependency on alcohol or drugs once these questions have been answered steps can be taken to relieve the depression it will take some work from both the caregiver and the carereceiver to change habits and routines prolonged depression causes biochemical changes in the brain usually requiring treatment with medication the doctor is a good person the contact to find help for treatment of depression other resources are county mental health centers psychologists counselors or clergy information references "caregiver’s handbook" by the caregiver education and support services seniors counseling and training case management services of the san diego county mental health services no date available at www acsu buffalo edu

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Categories: Sage, Topic, Emotional Psychological, Medical Physical, Personal, Social

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Keywords: Depression depressed emotions feelings mental health mental illness anxiety

*This information is listed as a Fact Sheet and is not explicitly medically licensed

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