Depression in older people—know the signs

Depression is a common problem among older adults, but it is NOT a normal part of aging. In fact, studies show that most older adults feel satisfied with their lives, despite having more illnesses or physical problems. However, important life changes—like the death of a loved one or living with a chronic illness—that happen as we get older may cause feelings of uneasiness, stress, and sadness.

Know the signs and symptoms of depression! Although these can vary depending on the individual, some of the most common symptoms are listed below. Tell your doctor if you have several of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks.

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness, or having trouble sitting still
  • Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities, including sex
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Eating more or less than usual, usually with unplanned weight gain or loss
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease with treatment
  • Frequent crying

If you are thinking about harming yourself, tell someone who can help immediately.

Learn more about the types of depression and how it can be treated. Share this information on social media:

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