Depression is a medical condition with challenging emotional and physical symptoms. If you’re an elderly person diagnosed with depression, it can be difficult to manage your symptoms on a daily basis.
Even if you’re currently undergoing geriatric depression treatment, such as psychotherapy or antidepressant medication, there are other depression management techniques that may also help you in dealing with depression symptoms.
Doctor-Prescribed Geriatric Depression Treatment
If your doctor has prescribed antidepressants as your primary geriatric depression treatment, you’ll need to follow your doctorÃ•s directions. In order to work properly, antidepressants must be taken according to a specific regimen. If you need help with taking your medication on a regular schedule, your family, spouse or trusted friends may offer assistance.
Be aware that you may have to take antidepressants for a period of time before their effects begin to appear. Make sure to take antidepressants correctly, and don’t change your dosage or stop taking medications without first contacting your doctor.
Psychotherapy can also be a helpful part of geriatric depression treatment. Trained mental health professionals can help you confront difficult feelings and life experiences that may be contributing to your depression.
You may feel ashamed about dealing with depression, or think that you should be able to deal with your feelings alone. Psychotherapy can help you through these difficult thoughts.
Dealing with Depression: Exercise
In addition to the above geriatric depression treatment options, there are other depression management techniques you can practice. For example, aerobic exercise can help to increase the release of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These neurotransmitters are biological factors in the development of depression: Increasing neurotransmitter activity may ease depression symptoms.
Relaxing exercises, such as yoga, also seem to have a mood-stabilizing effect. Always contact your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine, as she can provide suggestions based on your overall health.
Dealing with Depression: Social Support
Geriatric depression treatment may also involve social support from friends, family and members of your community. Depression symptoms commonly include withdrawal from social situations and activities. Depression management techniques that involve more social interaction can make dealing with depression a bit easier.
Enjoyable Activities and Dealing with Depression
Depression often causes a reduced motivation to engage in activities that you once enjoyed. As tempting as this may be, you’ll want to continue these activities with friends or family. Consider depression management techniques like:
- Getting a volunteer job
- Joining a book club
- Taking a craft class
- Taking up a new hobby.
These may increase social interaction ease your depression symptoms, making the task of dealing with depression just a bit more bearable.
Blumenthal, J., et al. (1999). â€œEffects of Exercise Training on Older Patients with Major Depression.â€ Archives of Internal Medicine, 159(19): 2349-2356.
Medline Plus Staff. (n.d.). Depression Ã elderly. Retrieved May 20, 2010, from the Medline Plus website: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001521.htm.
National Institute of Mental Health Staff. (n.d.). Older adults: Depression and suicide facts (fact sheet). Retrieved May 19, 2010, from National Institute of Mental Health website: www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/older-adults-depression-and-suicide-facts-fact-sheet/index.shtml#treatments.
New York Times Staff. (n.d.). Depression Ã elderly. Retrieved May 19, 2010, from New York Times website: health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/depression-elderly/lifestyle-changes.html.