Depression is very common in older adults. Here are some signs of depression that one shouldn’t ignore.
Seniors who are depressed frequently experience unusual levels of anxiety and are unable to consistently settle down. This anxiety setback may trigger other depression warning signs, such as social withdrawal, insomnia and fatigue.
Seniors who habitually wake up too early, don’t get enough sleep, or do both could be depressed. Most of us might have experienced sleepless nights where our fears kept us up. Chronic sleeplessness is a symptom of something more serious in older people.
Unless another condition, such as depression, is at play, seniors who are engaged and active rarely separate themselves from friends and family for an extended period of time. Older people are more likely to suffer loneliness and social isolation because they are more likely to encounter problems including living alone, losing friends or family, having a chronic illness, and hearing loss. Loneliness is the experience of feeling alone despite companionship, regardless of social contact.
In senior adults, losing one’s appetite may be a sign of despair. They skip meals or refuse to eat (perhaps because they have isolated themselves from their peers). Weight gain and persistent overeating may also be symptoms of sadness.
If a person regularly has suicidal thoughts or attempts suicide, they need an urgent psychiatric examination. Thoughts of death are common in depressive persons, but they may become self-fulfilling in seniors who may watch their health deteriorate as a result of the condition.