Have you noticed that your senior parent has become sadder or lonelier? Do you experience the effects of his constant mood swings? Do you want to help him get over depression? If you answered yes to all these, then you came across the right article. In this write-up, we are going to discuss depression in older individuals as well as the available methods on how to deal with it.
What Is Depression?
Depression refers to a mental health illness wherein a person suffers from severe sorrow or despair. Most of the time, a depressed person feels and thinks that he is inadequate. Because of this, he tends to blame all the misfortunes in his lives to himself. This mental condition is often accompanied by exhaustion or lack of interest in almost everything. According to Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., “Depression is an insidious, isolating disorder, which can sabotage relationships.”
Can A Senior Adult Go Through Depression?
Not everyone knows this, but depression is common in old adults. The sad thing about this is that whenever a senior parent suffers from depression, it is more likely to affect not only his life but also the lives of those surrounding him. It must be noted that this kind of person needs attention more than ever. “The most important thing anyone can do for the depressed person is to help him or her get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment,” said John M. Grohol, Psy.D. You will know if your dad has depression if he is suffering from:
- Difficulty in sleeping or experiencing insomnia
- Lack of motivation to do daily activities
- Loss of appetite or sudden loss of weight
- Loss of interest in spending time with family and friends
- Intemperate use of drugs or alcohol
- Constant thoughts of suicide or self-harm
- Neglect in personal care
- Extreme sadness
What Causes Depression?
There are many reasons why your old parent is going through depression, one of which is the effect of his health problems. “Some individuals experience a decline in mood with a sense of loss,” Robert D. Kerns, Ph.D, said. Take note that the more a person gets old, the more he becomes sick. Another reason is the feeling of loneliness or isolation, which usually occurs after the loss of a loved one or a sudden turn of events. Lastly, a senior can also feel a reduced sense of purpose and loss of identity due to the limitations brought about by his age.
How Do You Deal With It?
The first thing that you need to do is to bring your dad to a professional who can determine whether or not he has depression. Do not ignore the signs of depression. Take note that this issue is serious and needs to be addressed in its early stages. Do not disregard the fact that your senior dad may have this kind of mental condition.
After that, be sure to show him that you will always be there for him as a child. Let him know that he can always come to you whenever he needs someone to talk to. Moreover, introduce online therapy to him. At this point in your dad’s life, he needs the assistance of an online therapist. With this, he would be able to deal with his issues without entertaining the thoughts of being judged by other people. However, make sure to ask for his consent first before getting online therapy sessions for him.