Depression in Seniors

The COVID-19 lockdown has taken a toll on senior’s mental health and well-being – significantly affecting those with depression. This time has caused a lot of stress due to tragic loss in combination with social isolation. Those with mental health conditions are being extremely challenged during this pandemic.

Pandemic and Depression

COVID-19 causes an extra problem for those already dealing with depression. Depression is far more profound, all-encompassing, and devastating than simply feeling sad. It’s a very real mental health condition that affects both the mind and the body.

Depression is influencing how people sleep, eat, and see the world. The setbacks that seem small to others may seem insurmountable. People may not be able to focus or even face basic everyday life expectations, such as getting up in the morning.

People facing mental health issues might be more vulnerable than others during a public health crisis because:

  • they are more likely to pick up infections
  • accessing treatment can be more difficult for them
  • the emotional stress of COVID-19 and social isolation makes their preexisting condition worse
  • quarantine may prevent them from accessing their usual treatments, such as going to therapy sessions or practicing certain lifestyle choices

People living with depression during this pandemic may now find themselves:

  • having difficulty accessing their medications
  • facing unusually intense fear about the spread of COVID-19 and how it may affect their loved ones
  • feeling extremely anxious about their finances
  • feeling uncertain and confused about how to shop for necessities
  • withdrawing more due to social isolation
  • experiencing an increased sense of helplessness and hopelessness about the future

Avoiding Depression

It can be difficult to find the power to go about doing normal things during the pandemic, but try as much as possible to:

  • follow a normal routine as much as possible
  • limit time spent engaging with the news and social media
  • find ways to be physically active
  • eat a healthy diet
  • try to get enough sleep
  • avoid alcohol and drugs
  • focus on what you can control
  • maintain social relationships

These practices will not change anyone’s circumstances, but they can help people realize that they still have a connection to their prior way of life. Focusing on this can help people take steps toward making themselves feel better.

Depression in Seniors

Overcoming Depression

Depression is a severe condition, but it is treatable. Medication and psychotherapy are two key components of treatment for depression. Although people may opt for one without the other, many experts agree that combining the two produces the best outcomes.

Medications called antidepressants will relieve people from their depressive symptoms. There are several different types of antidepressants available, some of which are designed for combination use. The extensive number of options means it might take time for people to find what works for them — with the help of a doctor.

(Article courtesy of Entrust of DeSoto.)

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