Depression warning symptoms are similar to what society sweepingly label as ‘aging signs’.
This idea is so embedded in our society that senior citizens with depression often think it’s part of the aging process.
And, it’s not uncommon to mistakenly think aging and depression go hand in glove.
It’s true that the longer we live, the more emotional trauma we’re likely to experience. For us kids on the Far Side Of 55, sadness and grief are conditions we’ve learned to live through.
To lose a loved one, like a child, is heart-breaking.
And, grief does have many of the same symptoms as does depression. Yet, we can learn to live another day, without slipping into full-blown depression.
And, surviving grief one day at a time, is all we need.
Depression is an effect, not the cause. The causes are our bodies way of telling us something is out of balance. It could be from:
- abnormal brain functioning
- nervous system problems
- childhood abuse (especially sexual)
- serious illnesses
- side effects of prescription medications
- lack of proper nutrition
Despite the cause, depression is serious.
But, it’s treatable.
In our society the tendency is to treat symptoms, not the cause. Naturally then, drugs are the first option of depression treatment.
While drugs can calm the symptoms, they rarely help cure the cause.
Sometimes we get lucky and our bodies will heal itself over time.
Better though, to go to a health professional and have a brain scan, blood tests and neurology tests run to discover what causes our particular brand of depression.
Finding the cause of depression is a process…
If we’re lucky, our blood tests will show we have too much, or too little, of some essential element.
If so, we can add, or reduce, according to the results. Follow-up tests will eventually help us reach our balance.
Then it’s a matter of maintenance.
Abnormal brain development and nervous system failures are more complicated than I can go into here.
But, our general care health professional can hook us with experienced specialists who can help us.
Common signs of depression:
- sad, listless without logical reasons
- history of feeling tired, low energy
- feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- cranky, aggressive without true cause
- trouble concentrating, remembering, and making simple decisions
- no interest in formerly pleasurable activities
- being anxious, feeling ’empty’
- aches or pains that don’t respond to treatment
- can’t control negative thoughts, no matter how much you try
- suicidal thoughts
Considering the symptoms, it’s no wonder we often think we’re showing signs of aging when we’re otherwise healthy.
Yet, if any of these symptoms last longer than 6 – 7 weeks, we desperately need to get professional help…
Untreated depression is life-threatening!
And, don’t let preconceived notions stop you from getting extensive medical diagnosis and ongoing monitored treatment. From the online Help Guide:
Depression isn’t a sign of weakness or a character flaw. It can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter your background or your previous accomplishments in life.
While life’s changes as you age—such as retirement, the death of loved ones, declining health—can sometimes trigger depression, they don’t have to keep you down. No matter what challenges you face as you age, there are steps you can take to feel happy and hopeful once again and enjoy your golden years…”
Bottom Line: It isn’t normal for us kids on the Far Side Of 55 to feel sad and depressed!
Until next time,