Everybody feels sad from time to time. It’s just an unfortunate but normal part of life. However, many adults getting older find themselves more anxious or depressed for longer periods of time. These people are left wondering whether this is normal.
What Is Depression?
According to Mayo Clinic, depression is a mood disorder caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. It is characterized by extended periods of sadness or hopelessness and low self-worth. Some symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of helplessness
- Decreased energy
- Inexplicable guilt
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Change in appetite
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Suicidal thoughts
This is not an exhaustive list, but it starts to give you an idea of what depression can look and feel like.
Is Depression Part of Aging?
Depression and its symptoms have a considerable impact on people’s daily lives and overall quality of life. It is a relatively common disorder, but it is not a normal part of aging and should never be dismissed as such.
Older people are more susceptible to depression as they feel alone, dismissed, and sometimes lost in the busy world. Older people are also more likely to become depressed as they develop chronic health problems or their mobility decreases.
The good news is depression is treatable at any age, but the first step is to get help. If you aren’t feeling like yourself, reach out to somebody in your support system, whether it be a family member or a medical professional.
How to Prevent Depression
Depression is never 100% preventable, but there are mindful habits and healthy lifestyle changes you can utilize to benefit your mental health in the long run.
Staying active and eating a healthy diet helps prevent a wide variety of diseases and health concerns that may otherwise reduce your quality of life and bring on depression.
Maintain Close Relationships
Senior citizens need to have close relationships with friends and family. These relationships help people feel more connected to the world around them and cement their place in it.
Enjoy Your Hobbies
Don’t forget to do what you love in life. Finding something that you enjoy doing一something that brings you happiness in a fun and productive way, fills your free time, and keeps your mind occupied. Whether your hobby is to knit, write, draw, or dance, the fulfillment it brings can help prevent depression.
Ask for Help
The best way to prevent depression is to ask for help early. If you notice yourself falling into a rut and you can’t easily pull yourself out, it is time to ask for a hand.
Winter Park Assisted Living
Living in a Winter Park assisted living facility can help senior citizens at risk of developing depression. In these environments, older adults can receive individualized care and help around the clock from trained professionals. Additionally, assisted living in Winter Park, Florida, can help seniors connect and stay active, which both help prevent depression.