Medication And Older Adults
As you get older, body changes can affect the way medicines are absorbed and used. Because of these changes, there can be a larger risk of drug interactions among older adults. Share information about all medications and supplements youre taking with your doctor or pharmacist.
Use this worksheet to help track your medications.
Treatment, particularly a combination of psychotherapy and medications, has been shown to be effective for older adults. However, not all medications or therapies will be right for everyone. Treatment choices differ for each person, and sometimes multiple treatments must be tried in order to find one that works. It is important to tell your doctor if your current treatment plan isnt working and to keep trying to find something that does.
Some people may try complementary health approaches, like yoga, to improve well-being and cope with stress. However, there is little evidence to suggest that these approaches, on their own, can successfully treat depression. While they can be used in combination with other treatments prescribed by a persons doctor, they should not replace medical treatment. Talk with your doctor about what treatment might be good to try.
Dont avoid getting help because you dont know how much treatment will cost. Treatment for depression is usually covered by private insurance and Medicare. Also, some community mental health centers may offer treatment based on a persons ability to pay.
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
Many complementary medicines and alternative therapies are promoted for coping with depression. Some have been tested in scientific clinical trials, but many have not. Here is an overview of some of the most common therapies:
Physical Exercise: Exercise has been found to reduce the effects of depression. Walking three times a week for 30 to 45 minutes has been linked to reducing or alleviating symptoms of depression. If that seems like a lot of time you donât have, then start with 15 minutes once a week. The important message is to get started with a regular exercise activity.
It is unknown whether physical activity prevents the onset of depression or just helps modify the effects. Arranging time for exercise is sometimes difficult for caregivers. It is often seen as a âvalue addedâ activityâsomething to do when everything else is done. You might consider adding it to your âto doâ list, asking a friend to give you a âwalk dateâ each week as a gift, or requesting that your doctor write a prescription for walking or joining an exercise class. All the research shows that for a healthier life, it makes good sense to make time for exercise.
Mind-Body Techniques: There is a growing body of research showing that our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings can have a direct impact on our health, and our physical health can impact our mental state. Your mind and body are interrelated. Implementing mind-body techniques into your routine may help alleviate depression.
Some People Don’t Understand Depression
People may want to help you but are not sure how, or they may believe some of the myths that society buys into about depression.
For this reason, you need to be aware of the fact that not everyone will understand what you’re going through.
Consequently, you may want to carefully choose who you disclose this information to and when.
Start by making a list of the most supportive people you know. Typically, these people are the ones you should tell first. Remember, not everyone knows how to offer emotional support though.
If you have friends or family members who lack this skill, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. It just means that they may not be the best ones to invite into your journey. In fact, telling themparticularly when you are vulnerablemay be counterproductive.
Other Ways To Help Include:
- Offering him support, understanding, patience, and encouragement
- Listening carefully and talking with him
- Never ignoring comments about suicide, and alerting his therapist or doctor
- Helping him increase his level of physical and social activity by inviting him out for hikes, games, and other events. If he says, no, keep trying, but don’t push him to take on too much too soon.
- Encouraging him to report any concerns about medications to his health care provider
- Ensuring that he gets to his doctor’s appointments
- Reminding him that with time and treatment, the depression will lift
How Can Talking To A Parent Help
It can feel like a big relief to have someone listen, hear you out, and show they care. Talking together can help you feel more hopeful. It lets you know you’re not alone. Someone believes in you and has your back.
Sometimes, a parent can help you see another angle to a problem you’re dealing with. They can give good advice. When you feel their support, it’s easier to think of ways to help yourself, too.
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Write Down Your Feelings
If you know that youre ready to tell your loved ones that you are suffering from depression, but you cant find the words to say it, try writing your thoughts down on paper first. This method will give you a base to go off of when you initiate the discussion, or you can read the letter to them yourself, or give them the paper to read themselves.
Not only is the act of writing your feelings down therapeutic, but it will also prevent you from forgetting what you intended to say or freezing up mid-conversation. You will have time before talking to your loved ones to make revisions and think about what you want to get across to them.
Asking For Understanding Or Help
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Tip #: Choose A Time Thats Convenient For Them Too
If someone approaches us for help when our own needs are not fully met, we may not have the emotional strength to give them what they are asking for. Remember that your family member has their own responsibilities and needs to attend to as well. It is best, if you can, to approach them when they are calm and collected, not stressed out after work or coping with a crisis of their own. However, keep in mind, too, that no time is going to be the perfect timeyour needs are as important as anyone elses. Its important to recognize the difference between being considerate and simply procrastinating to avoid a potentially uncomfortable situation. Give them space and time for now if they need it, but make sure not to put off your conversation indefinitely.
Begin Your Recovery Journey.
What Risks And Complications Can Depression Cause
Having depression can cause other problems. It can affect your mental health as well as your physical health, and it may affect other areas of your life too. For example, depression may cause:
- disturbed sleep,
- difficulties with work and your hobbies,
- difficulties keeping contact with friends and families, or
- suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harming.
Some people might also drink more alcohol to try and relieve depression. However, as we said in the previous section above, this can actually make depression worse.
If you have any of these problems, speak to your GP.
Read Also: How To Combat Depression Naturally
Why Is This Happening To Me
Your child might want to know the reasons why theyre experiencing depression when theyre friends are not.
Its a good idea to be honest with them and explain that you dont know the answer to that. Consider telling them that scientists are still trying to figure out why some people get depression and not others.
If theres one thing to stress during this conversation, its that having depression is not their fault. Try to remind them that they didnt do anything to cause depression but there are things they can try to get better.
Is It Depression Or Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, involves serious shifts in moods, energy, thinking, and behavior. Because it looks so similar to depression when in the low phase, it is often overlooked and misdiagnosed. This can be a serious problem as taking antidepressants for bipolar disorder can actually make the condition worse.
If youve ever gone through phases where you experienced excessive feelings of euphoria, a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior, consider getting evaluated for bipolar disorder.
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What Causes Depression In Men
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of risk factors including:
- Genetic factorsmen with a family history of depression may be more likely to develop it than those whose family members do not have the illness.
- Environmental Stressfinancial problems, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, major life changes, work problems, or any stressful situation may trigger depression in some men.
- Illnessdepression can occur with other serious medical illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or Parkinsons disease. Depression can make these conditions worse and vice versa. Sometimes, medications taken for these illnesses may cause side effects that trigger or worsen depression.
Signs To Notice When Feeling Depressed
When you feel depressed, you may experience one or multiple symptoms of depression. Such feelings are persistent, and its not easy to shake them off. Since symptoms affect people differently, they should be a red flag to see your doctor or mental health professional. Signs of depression include the following:
Why Does Depression Happen?
Why Its Important to Know the Signs
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Remember That Reliable Help Is Always Available
Its very important to have family support. It can go a long way to helping you in the early stages of recovery and in the long term. But they cant be your only healing resource. And if you dont find the help youre hoping for from family, you can always reach right out to a treatment center and expect a compassionate and supportive response.
No matter who you talk to among your family and friends, part of the conversation should be about what kind of treatment you will seek. As heavy and disempowering as depression can be, its absolutely possible to transform the negativity and distress you experience. Your better life really is around the corner when you take steps into positive treatment.
Where Do You See Yourself In The Future
Youll want to consider the tone of the letter. In terms of your depression, where do you see yourself in the future? Observe your thoughts and consider sharing your optimism or doubt about how you feel.
Allow friends and family to see where you are so they know how best to support you. The key is to be open and honest.
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This Is One Of The Most Difficult Things You Can Experience But Know That Youre Not Alone
The isolation that a depressed person feels is one of the hardest things to cope with. When you acknowledge their pain and remind Mom or Dad that theyre not alone, youre letting them know that theyre being seen and heard. This isnt easy and there are no quick solutions. But you can let them know that you are truly there for them. Knowing this might help your parent remember their own value and worth.
Depression: How Family And Loved Ones Can Help
There are several practical steps a spouse, sibling, friend, or parent can take to help a loved one who is experiencing major depression:
- Make sure the person is taking his medication offer to drive him to doctorsâ or therapist appointments or to fill prescriptions. In Kristen’s case, her parents were a conduit for information, talking to various doctors and therapists when she couldnât.
- Provide feedback. Someone with major depression is probably in therapy or on medication . By keeping an eye out for certain behaviors, youâll help the person report back to his doctor. This is particularly helpful if the loved one has anxiety or isnât sure if medication is working.
- Provide financial help. Therapy and medications are expensive and may not be covered by insurance.
- Be there, even if youâre not talking. When someone is feeling anxious or sad, knowing he or she is not alone is an immense help.
- Educate yourself. There are many web sites, books, and articles that discuss depression.
âJust knowing that someone else knows that youâre suffering can be a very good and safe feeling,â Davis says. âEveryone likes to know that someone is in their corner.â
Xavier Amador, PhD, adjunct professor of clinical psychology, Columbia University author, I Donât Want to Talk About It.
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Can Depression In Children Be Prevented
Children with a family history of depression are also at higher risk of depression. Children who have parents with depression tend to have their first episode of depression earlier than children whose parents donât have the condition. Children from chaotic or conflicted families, or children and teens who abuse substances like alcohol and drugs, are also at greater risk of depression.
Wait Until It Feels Comfortable
Take your time and do it when it feels right. When you feel ready, the best way to start is to tell them you have something important that you want to talk about, so they know not to take the conversation lightly. Also, its important to be clear whether or not you want them to keep the information to themselves at this stage.
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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
Plan B: Reach Out To Another Trusted Adult
If your parents brush you off, try not to be discouragedparents tend to see the positives in their kids. They dont always understand the severity of the situation right away. The good news is there are other people and places you can go to for support. Try talking to another adult you trust to seek guidance on getting through to your parents. An aunt or uncle, a teacher, a school counselor, or even a coach can help you by talking to your parents on your behalf and advocating for your needs.
There are likely resources at your school or community and if youre active in your church you should know that many church leaders are trained to help adolescents in need of mental health support.
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