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Overcoming Late Life Depression

by Renee Marcus on 7/14/14, 10:00 AM

As youngsters we all feel the power of youth. The ability to run a mile in four minutes or less, swim several laps in a pool, strengthen our bodies through weight lifting, and just generally have the energy and the attitude that comes with feeling young and energetic.

But as we all get older, certain things happen to many of us that may not readily be noticed by the people we overcoming-depressionare closest to in our everyday lives.

Late life depression is one of those conditions that many people tend to either ignore or sometimes just dismiss because in many cases the symptoms aren’t picked up on, symptoms such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Sadness
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • A genuine sense of self-loathing and no sense of self-worth

There is a purveying myth that as we get older we can’t learn new things or stay active and healthy and nothing could be farther from the truth.

There’s no reason why a person who’s grown older can’t take a course at a local college in adult education and learn a new skill or become involved in a new hobby that interests them.

Reaching out to a professional for help is also an option, and doesn’t have the stigma attachment that it may have held so many years ago. Today a therapist can help a person address detrimental life situations, and suggest alternatives to these behavior patterns. Support groups can also be a beneficial tool that a person suffering with depression can take advantage of.

These kinds of groups can be a haven for a person suffering with depression because they can share the same feelings and experiences with others like themselves in the safety of the group environment.

Finally, the most important aspect of helping someone overcome late life depression is the act of family reaching out and being supportive. Simple things such as inviting an elderly relative over for dinner or a family night out can do wonders for an older relative and have a lasting effect on their psyche.

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