The realization that the years ahead are fewer than those behind can be a shock to some elderly and retired people. For others, the loss of close friends or relatives can lead to states of despair and long hours spent alone. Whatever the cause, depression is an all-too-common phenomenon for the elderly, even though many don’t recognize the symptoms. Though depression is not an inevitable condition of aging, there are common warning signs you can look for that will help you spot the condition in yourself and others. If you believe you are depressed, you should speak to a doctor right away, as the condition can worsen over time and lead to a range of negative consequences.
Sign 1: Overwhelming grief or despair.
We all feel sad at times, especially when bad things happen. But depression is more than simply feeling bad, sad or guilty. Depression is a constant sense of emptiness, hopelessness or despair. People with depression rarely feel even moments of happiness, and are constantly reverting to feelings of worthlessness.
Sign 2: Inability to perform simple tasks.
For someone with depression, even the simplest of chores may seem insurmountable. Accomplishing something as simple as getting out of bed and showering in the morning can be a major hurdle requiring more energy than the person is able to muster.
Sign 3: Loss of pleasurable activity.
A person suffering from depression loses interest in activities that normally bring pleasure. They may no longer follow their favorite sports team, give up on hobbies or even be unable to find food tasty or appealing.