“… grow old along with me
the best is yet to be.
the last of life
for which the first was made …”
If you are over the age of 65 or care for someone who is, it is important for you to know that depression or anxiety are not a normal part of aging. In fact it is not normal at any age. Depression is more than simply feeling “down in the dumps” and anxiety is more than worrying.
Feeling sad or troubled when upsetting things happen is expected and quite typical. However, feeling very bad or nervous almost all of the time for extended periods of time when there are no obvious reasons is not normal. It is not unusual for senior adults to experience sadness, social isolation and loneliness during periods of transition or adversity. Real depression significantly interferes with activities of daily living and yet some elderly do not think of themselves as feeling sad even when numerous other indicators point to a diagnosis of depression.
Caregivers often face feelings of frustration and isolation and may occasionally believe that they have to put their own lives on hold because of the enormous amount of energy that it takes to care for someone else. They also may be reluctant to talk with family or friends about their feelings until they reach a point of being overwhelmed.
Help is available. In both cases talking with someone can put these feelings into perspective and can offer guidance and hope.