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Dealing with Anxiety and Depression as We Age

Dealing with Anxiety and Depression as We Age

Depression and anxiety are not a natural part of aging. And as people age, anxiety and mood disorders become less common. However, detection rates are lower among seniors. Not many of them would seek assistance for mental health problems. That is why Apex Oaks Assisted Living & Memory Care, an Assisted Living Home Care in Houston, Texas, suggests that loved ones of people suffering from depression or anxiety must pay attention and provide help.

Risk Factors

The majority of seniors aren’t depressed. However, those who have a medical condition which affects the quality of life and mobility are at a greater risk. Conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as well as a new medical illness and disability can prompt a mood disorder.

Experts say that pre-existing anxiety and depression, as well as bereavement, also contribute. Additionally, increasing insomnia can also be a factor. Changes in the brain and body can result in depression which takes place for the first time in senior years. Restriction in blood flow is likely to stiffen and block the normal flow of blood to the brain over time resulting in vascular depression. This can increase the risk of vascular illness like stroke or heart disease.

Common Signs of Mood Disorders

Often signs of anxiety and depression are the same for seniors. However, older adults may report them in different ways. Instead of feeling overwhelmed or sad, seniors report a loss of concentration, cognitive issues, digestive issues, nagging aches and pains, and loss of interest in activities. As with younger adults, seniors have suicidal thoughts. However, although younger individuals are likely to concentrate on hurting themselves, seniors may wish that they would not wake up the next morning.

Preventing Depression

Avoiding depression is difficult, especially if a person has a predisposition toward the disease. Those who know that they are at risk of depression must know the symptoms and address them early. Moreover, you must optimize your health for protection.

• Stay away from depression. Exercise helps because it can be measured. People can see what they accomplished which is necessary to keep them from becoming stressed or demoralized.

• Follow a diet against depression. Go for whole grains, vegetables, fish, and lean protein that research has suggested can impact brain chemistry and mood. A number of studies have discovered that diets that are high in omega-3 fatty acids have antidepressant effects.

• Look for a trusted therapist. Often, therapy is a part of a plan to treat depression; however, research has found its importance on preventing a relapse or depression. Here are the three most common kinds of therapies used.

Interpersonal psychotherapy. This teaches a patient about depression and associates depressive symptoms to recent life events.
Cognitive behavioral therapy. This teaches the patient to reframe the way he views the world and come up with tools for coping with depressive feelings.
Problem-solving therapy. This approach determines an issue, develop solutions, choose the best ones, establish and implement a plan as well as assess the success of the therapy.

• Keep and enjoy your job. Work offers a sense of purpose. Just avoid working too hard. Scientists revealed that people who work hard at least sixty hours per week and felt they have too much work to complete are fifteen times more likely to develop depression than those who are less stressed.

Treating Depression

If you are suffering from depression, you need to seek help first. In order for your treatment to succeed, you and your physician must design a treatment plan which is perfect for you. This could mean therapy, medication, or both.

• Medication. There are a lot of medications designed to treat depression, the majority of which work on different brain chemicals which control mood. Newer antidepressants commonly prescribed to patients include atypical antidepressants, norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors as well as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

• Therapy. Some studies discovered the effectiveness of interpersonal therapy and cognitive therapy in treating depression. However, if you are too depressed, it may be difficult for you to engage in therapy so a combination of therapy and medication often works better.

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