The elderly within any community are one of the most vulnerable groups aside from children and women. In fact, in most cases, there are usually specific steps that are designed to take care of the needs of the elderly and help them ease into old age in peace. That being said, it presents a tricky dimension when discussed in relation to depression. Not only are the elderly among the most risky groups in our societies, they also run the highest risk of falling into depression, typically due to the fact that the factors that come into play when you consider depression among the elderly are diverse and complicated in a way.
While most of the people do not consider depression to be a ‘serious’ medical condition, among the elderly it is a condition that can be fatal if left unchecked. As such, the concept of seeking medical intervention for the purposes of beating depression among the elderly should not be as foreign as it is in most communities. To understand the concept of beating depression among the elderly, it is important to know exactly how depression occurs and in what ways it is considered a medical condition. Some of the common areas of depression include:
Physical depression – physical depression normally expresses itself in a variety of ways. Some of these include: constipation, headaches, ingestion, general pain and dizziness. Physical discomfort especially among the elderly is one of the key reasons that they go into depression. While the cause of depression may be a chronic or terminal disease, the expression of the feeling of depression normally shows itself in a variety of itself. As such, the person is often unable to respond to treatment in the required manner. Such a person may experience the loss of appetite and disruption of normal sleep patterns. Often, physical depression can be treated by singling out the cause of such depression and treating it instead of treating the symptoms.
Cognitive depression – beating depression among the elderly can be an arduous task especially if the cognitive ability of the person is gravely reduced. Often, a person suffering from cognitive depression develops a very negative view of the world, which goes a long way in dimming out the optimistic side of his or her life. In old age, cognitive depression may arise due to underachievement or the feeling of unworthiness. It may also result from the realization that death is nigh; with little time to make up for lost time, most of the elderly tend to regret past decisions, leading to cognitive depression. Severe cases of cognitive depression may lead to instances of suicide as the person gives up on life or the possibility that his or her situation may never change.
Emotional depression – the treatment that is prescribed for depression is normally determined by the cause of the depression. Often, emotional depression is treated through therapy since it arises from deep seated fears and feelings. Emotional depression usually comes about as a result of sadness, humiliation, emptiness and misery, expressing itself in lack of interest in the normal things such as humor and pleasure. Often, such a person feels anxious and may be angry almost all the time. While mild, emotional depression is usually manageable; however, while it gets chronic, it is usually much more difficult to treat. Chronic emotional depression usually requires that the person undergoes a very long therapeutic session and some antidepressants.
Behavioral depression – this is a particularly tricky type of depression, especially since it affects the way an individual responds to various situations. Behavioral depression makes the individual very unpredictable, which means that close monitoring, is required if the person is to be treated properly. Usually, behavioral depression results in low energy and a particular sense of unproductiveness.
Motivational depression – the lack of motivation in a person’s life is one of the common reasons for giving up. A person suffering from motivational depression can exhibit quite a number of symptoms such as numbness, low sex drive or libido, isolation from close family members of friends and they may develop a suicidal streak. Natural treatments for depression often involve trying to excite the person into developing an interest into the things that they once loved. It is a process through which the person learns the ways in which he or she can accommodate the depressive feelings.