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Coping With Depression

By Janet Crozier
 
(Page 2 of 3)  

What Is Depression? 

Montgomery says it’s important for loved ones to be on the lookout for signs of depression in the seniors close to them. Sadness and low moods can come and go. Clinical depression, however, is much more serious than the occasional “down” mood everyone experiences. Symptoms include: 

  • A persistent sad or “empty” mood;

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities;

  • Decreased energy, fatigue;

  • Sleep problems (insomnia, oversleeping, early morning waking);

  • Loss of appetite;

  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism;

  • Thoughts of death or suicide; a suicide attempt;

  • Irritability;

  • Excessive crying; and

  • Recurring aches and pains that don’t respond to medical treatment.

If the feelings and symptoms persist beyond three months, Montgomery advises seeking medical treatment.  Supportive counseling can help to ease the pain of depression.  Cognitive therapy to change the pessimistic mindset, unrealistic expectations and overly critical self-evaluations that can contribute to major depression is also a useful treatment.

 

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