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Senile depression, causes and symptoms

Old age is sometimes accompanied by medical complications such as diabetes, blood pressure and cardiac problems. These can be treated by medical doctors with the help of medication, but what about mental complications that accompany old age? A medical doctor won’t have the qualification or knowledge to treat depression, anxiety, stress and further mental complications that come with the aggravation of these illnesses. Let’s look at the causes and symptoms that are associated with senile depression.

Causes

As we age our bodies and minds go through a lot of changes, our energetic and agile physical bodies start to become slower and more fragile. The mind too becomes frail, the shocks, traumas and stress levels we could handle in our younger years start to diminish. There could be many reasons for this, let’s look at a few of them.

1

Society and financial status

Depression sets in when we start to think about how under achieved we are during the sunset of our lives. We look around and see our neighbors, colleagues or relatives in a better position than us and start to question our self-worth and achievements, the worst part is knowing that it’s too late to do anything about it now. So if you see your father or mother going through this, go easy on them. Keep reminding them of how much they have succeeded.

2

Children getting married or leaving home.

When you flee the nest to make one of your own, you often leave behind a void that is very hard for your parents to fill up. They have seen you grow up all your life, even though they might be proud and happy for you being independent or getting married, they will soon start to feel lonely. So make sure you visit from time to time or at least call to check on them regularly.

3

Medical complications

Old age sometimes comes with a series of health complications, especially in India. These illnesses often impact the mind in one way or the other. A once abled and agile senile might find it hard to cope with ageing, and in turn it instills a sense of dependence and uselessness. This could turn into depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. So if your parents or elders you are caring for seem to be difficult, have patience with them. Remember that they had patience with you when you were younger.

Symptoms

As we age our bodies and minds go through a lot of changes, our energetic and agile physical bodies start to become slower and more fragile. The mind too becomes frail, the shocks, traumas and stress levels we could handle in our younger years start to diminish. There could be many reasons for this, let’s look at a few of them.

1

Memory and cognitive ability

As you grow old you become more and more like a child, it’s the cycle of life. Couple this with depression and you have a difficult situation. Early signs of senile depression include loneliness even though surrounded by family, difficulty in remembering simple things, repetitiveness, inability to distorted perception of friends and family members and narrating life episodes in the wrong order. Fear is also a sign of depression, in case of a senile person, it is the fear of death.

2

Motor skills

Depressed senile individuals often display slow or sluggish behavior this is due to cognitive impairment and cerebral atrophy usually caused by parts of the nervous system’s inability to function. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease also result in slow or deterred motor functions. If you notice that your elderly parents or friends are unable to climb stairs, cross the road or perform motor functions normally, it’s best to keep a close eye on them especially when they’re outdoors.

3

Unnecessary concern or fear

If your parents, senile relatives or friends tend to show unnecessary concern or fear for loved ones, they are depressed or likely to get depressed. Unnecessary concern or fear for loved ones is because they feel helpless. They have always been in a position to protect the people around them, but now due to medical, physical and or mental concerns are unable to do so.

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