Depression can start "out of the blue" for no known reason. It can occur after a difficult life experience, such as the death of a loved one, loss of health, or a reduction of independence. Depression effects ones overall health and ability to enjoy and participate in life. In contrast to normal sadness or grief, clinical depression is extreme and persistent and can interfere with a person's ability to function.
Among people age 65 and older, nearly 6 out of 100 suffer from some form of depression. Although depression may be common, it is definitely not a normal part of age. Depression is a treatable illness.
Common signs of depression:
Persistently feeling sad, tearful, or cranky
Loss of interest in hobbies or friends
Feeling worthless, hopeless or having excessive guilt
Sleeping more or less than usual
Nervous or restless
Poor appetite or weight loss
Feeling like life is not worth living
Trouble making decisions or concentrating
There is good news! Nearly 80% of people with clinical depression can be treated with some combination of therapy and medication. However, many depressed older adults do not recognize being depressed and are unlikely to seek help. Others feel they just have to live with it.
The Depression Screening program was developed in an effort to increase identification of depression in older adult. Call 517-788-4364 to find out more.