How to Win Over Depression in Old Age?

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depression in old peopleThe changes which occur in old age like retirement, the death of near ones, isolation and health problems often lead to depression which prevents one from enjoying life.

Its effects can be far reaching. It affects one’s energy, sleep and mental as well as physical health. Though depression is not a part of aging, one should take necessary steps to overcome it in spite of the challenges one faces.

Depression is common in old age:

Depression is common in old age. Depression affects each aspect of life, including level of energy, sleep, and relationships too.

Depressed people fail to recognize its usual symptoms and do not take the required steps when they are needed.

Reasons of depression in old age:

There are many reasons of depression in older adults:

  1. Health hazards – One does not feel that health problems are signs of depression. Any chronic disease if it is painful or life-threatening, can cause depression or make the symptoms worse in old age.
  2. Isolation – Often the elderly people are isolated which leads to depression and there is none to notice the distress.
  3. Lack of communication – Many old people are very reluctant to share their feelings or seek for help from others.
  4. Anxiety – Fear of approaching death or panic over financial or relationship issues.
  5. Side effects of drugs – Depression can arise due to side effect of many common drugs. Taking multiple medications can be alarming. With age, human body becomes less efficient in metabolizing drugs.

How to get rid of depression in old age?

Depression in old age can be cured. With the right support and back up one can feel better and lead a happy and normal life.

  1. Sleep well – One should aim for a total 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
  2. Maintain diet – Avoiding too much eating, especially junk food and choosing healthy foods giving nourishment and energy helps to decrease depression.
  3. Stay active – hobbies or activities to pass time can help one to enjoy life.
  4. Learning new activities – One should opt for something that he or she always wanted to do, or stimulates imagination.
  5. Communicate with others – Getting the support from others can help to win over depression. One may not feel like doing so, but one should communicate with others or keep in touch with them.
  1. Physical activities – Exercise has wonderful effects even in old age. In fact, it helps in overcoming depression and without any side effect. One can also try small methods to stay fit in daily life like choosing the stairs in place of the lift, do light house hold work, or go for a walk. Even if one is disabled, there can be many safe exercises to do at home.