What are the symptoms of depression, and do they look different in older adults?

Everyone feels sad from time to time. But when those feelings continue for more than a few days, you may be suffering from depression, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Symptoms of Depression

Some signs and symptoms of depression include the following:

  • Difficulty focusing or remembering
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Eating significantly more or less than usual
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Feeling excessive guilt
  • Feeling like life is not worth living
  • Feeling nervous
  • Frequent crying
  • Frequent headaches, stomach aches or other chronic pain
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities
  • Problems getting to sleep or waking in the middle of the night
  • Restlessness
  • Sleeping too much
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Depression is common among older adults, but it does not go hand-in-hand with aging.

The physical changes associated with aging can lead some people into depression. In addition, the deaths of family and friends, transitioning into retirement or dealing with illness can be factors that lead to depression.

Depression in older adults can often be missed because some people from older generations are less likely to talk about their feelings or outwardly show symptoms.

Talk to your doctor for more information about how to spot depression in older adults.

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