In the Elderly
Many people feel that it is normal for elderly persons to be depressed. This is a dangerous misconception. If you suspect an older adult is suffering from a depressive illness, a thorough medical examination should be given as soon as possible.
- Unusual complaints of aches and pains (back, stomach, arms, legs, head, chest), fatigue, slowed movements and speech, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, weight increase or decrease, blurred vision, dizziness, heart racing, anxiety.
- Inability to concentrate, remember or think straight (sometimes mistaken for dementia). An overall sadness or apathy, withdrawal; inability to find pleasure in anything.
- Irritability, mood swings or constant complaining; nothing seems to make the person happy.
- Talk of worthlessness, not being needed anymore, excessive and unwarranted guilt.
- Frequent doctor visits without relief in symptoms; all tests come out negative.
- Alcoholism, which can mask an underlying depression.