Getting depressed as you age is not normal — here’s when to ask for help

Daybreak

A national survey finds two-thirds of older Americans concerned with depression will not go for help, believing they can "snap out of it"

(WYTV) – While the nation deals with the coronavirus, it is critical that we care for the health of the most vulnerable — our older citizens.

They may not hesitate to see a doctor for a physical problem, but that’s not often the case for depression and anxiety.

A national survey finds two-thirds of older Americans concerned with depression will not go for help, believing they can “snap out of it” on their own. That may not happen.

“They are not proactively asking for help,” said geriatric psychiatrist Dr. Pari Deshmukh. “Even when we identify the psychiatric problems, they may still reject the help.”

Why? Older people may believe getting depressed, getting down, is a normal part of aging.

It’s not.

The idea is finding the right kind of medication, if that’s what’s needed, and medicine tailored to a person’s DNA.

The patient is more likely to respond and have fewer side effects, if any.

Urge your older mom and dad to see a doctor if you notice changes in their mood or behavior, or more subtle symptoms such as trouble sleeping or lack of social contacts.

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