Elderly people are often hiding their depression
Just as teenage depression has received more recognition and validation over the last decade, depression in senior citizens has also gained more attention. Teenagers are facing loads of issues — and seniors are as well, even though the effects are quite different.
Senior citizens have many worries. They are facing getting older and less capable of caring for themselves. They may be worried about outliving the funds they have set aside for their retirement. They may be facing significant changes, such as moving from their home to a retirement community or nursing home. They are also finding themselves surviving their friends.
One of the major concerns about depression in seniors is that the symptoms are not nearly as easy to identify as they would be in a child or a middle-aged adult. Senior citizens rarely tell people that they are depressed, and may not even recognize it as such. Even when the signs are noticed, they are often mistaken for other medical problems associated with age.
If a senior citizen stops taking part in active activities, this is a red flag. For instance, if an elderly lady has been going to get her hair done every week, for the last 30 years or so, and suddenly stops, you cannot assume that she just got old and stopped worrying about what her hair looked like. The culprit is probably depression. Think about the things that the elderly person had done before, and what they have recently stopped doing.
What you must remember is that today’s seniors may still consider depression to be a bad thing that one must hide from others. When they were children and then later, raising their families, if someone suffered from a mental condition — including depression — that person was thought to be either “crazy” or “incompetent.”
Naturally, since they were raised and lived in this mindset, they will try to hide their depressed feelings if and when they occur.