Opinion

LIFE 102 | Depression and the senior citizen

It happens out of the blue, a cloud of gloom and doom sets in. We often times were unaware that this feeling had been hanging over us for a while.

However, when it hits no matter the form or severity it displays, devastation is devastation. Everyone’s hell is not necessarily of their own making.

Depression cannot be shared or given away, it just is and must be professionally dealt with. Many seniors suffer with it and because of it. In my profession as a counselor over the years, I have witnessed many cases of depression in all ages, but for the sake of this article I will address depression in the senior years.

How does it begin or why? Life changes are a trigger, chronic illness, loss of loved ones, or just the mere fact that we are aging and perhaps feel that we have not reached the heights of our potential. About that time the infamous would, could, should have trio sets in those unrealistic guilt’s that are wasted energy.

We cannot go back life moves on with us or without us. Entering the second half of our lives is an emotional as well as a physical jolt to the body. I think the word that is so important is structure in our younger years we were motivated to taking action either for our survival or for a family our days were active we had a purpose.

In phase two we have to adjust to the diminishing structure, motivation is slowing we no longer have to we must want to. In most instances a mild case of sadness will resolve itself, on the other hand if you are concerned that this gloom has been interfering with your daily life you are experiencing too little or too much sleep, feeling on the verge of tears or completely overwhelmed and stuck it is time to find a health care provider start with a referral from your physician Medicare does pay for counseling.

There is also The Area Council on Aging can assist you, Kitsap Mental Health as well as the Health Department of Kitsap County.

Whichever path is chosen the first step is always the hardest, if you are unable to take action reach out allow another to intercede. Do not be embarrassed to ask for help recognizing your depression is the first step toward regaining you. Part of healing the spirit is allowing it to soar love yourself enough to energize you back to life.

Remember you do not have to suffer in silence confidential help is available to you or a loved one.

Please get in touch if there is a senior topic you are interested in.

Kathleen Fuller can be reached at 360-895-0977 or by email at katbow@wavecable.com.

 

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