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Living With Depression Can Have A Long Term Effect On Your Health
- Depression affects more than 35 million adults each year.
- Of these, 6.5 million are over the age of 65.
- In the later years of a person’s life, changes occur that can lead to depression.
These include medical illnesses, death of spouses or other loved ones and retirement. Depression prevents older adults from enjoying their lives like they did when they were younger. The effects of depression, however, extend far beyond changes in mood. Patients become less energetic, experience changes in sleep patterns, changes in their appetites and decline in physical health. However, depression is not always inevitable when it comes to aging. There are steps and strategies that older adults can focus on to overcome thesymptoms of depression.
Causes of Depression in Older Adults
As people get older, their health typically begins to deteriorate. They may experience severe or chronic pain, become disabled or have surgeries or diseases that damage their bodies. These symptoms can cause a person to become depressed and feel useless.
Many elderly people live alone, usually due to the death of a spouse, have decreased mobility and no longer have driving privileges. These factors can contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Increased Sense of Purposelessness
When people reach retirement age or are physically challenged, they may feel a sense of purposelessness.