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Veering Away from Depression Late in Your Life

Depression counseling for seniors, senior depression, Depression counseling Fayetteville NC, Carolina Counseling Services, North Fayetteville Office, Fayetteville NC

Veering Away from Depression Late in Your Life


Aging is often likened to the setting of the sun. Like the sun, you will mellow as you age. You may come to prefer quietude and peace over noisy and boisterous fun. You will likely depart from an active and dynamic lifestyle to seek out solitude and a calmer, but equally fulfilling existence. You will find your fulfillment, even when you are not the center of all the attention.

It is important, however, that you do not misconstrue mellowing with depressive signs, such as sadness, social withdrawal, and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. If you are innately vivacious, you can’t just change overnight, even with age. Though sadness can be a natural response to adversities, it can’t persistently grip you with intensity longer than two weeks. If it does, there is a good reason to suspect that you could be depressed.

You must not underestimate geriatric depression. Late in life, depression is a real concern. It is amongst the most common emotional disorders among older adults in the United States, says the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reveal that approximately six percent of the seniors in the country experience at least one episode a year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that this statistic represents around seven million seniors in the country.


Getting Lonely with Aging Isn’t Okay

With the number of seniors affected with depression, you may be inclined to think that depression is a “part and parcel”” of aging. Aging and mellowing may seem to come together “like a horse and carriage,” but not aging and depression. While feelings of emptiness, pessimism, hopelessness, and/or helplessness can be justified under certain distressing situations – widowhood or the passing away of a loved one, a serious medical diagnosis, or loss of functioning – depression isn’t a standard facet of aging.

Your body and mind are connected. This means that your emotional health is linked to your physical health. As your body succumbs to age and age-related conditions, your emotional health may be affected as well. This can leave you vulnerable to a lot of emotional complications, including depression. Yet, all hope is not lost. With a proactive perspective and healthy attitude, this late life phase can be as fulfilling as any age.

Despite the challenges, such as declining health, uncertain financial security, or living alone, there are many other good reasons to be happy about or look forward to in your senior years. Maybe, you now have a more sedate lifestyle, but you need not be sad or socially isolated.  Older adults like you can enjoy a satisfying life, even at this stage and despite difficulties. Start by striving toward having robust physical health and a positive emotional outlook. Seek help as soon as you notice changes in your moods and behaviors.


The Signs That Deserve Attention

The foremost sign or symptom of depression is despair or sadness. While this still holds is true in older adults, this can easily be masked by their “mellowing.” Just because you mellowed – not as active or not as eager to be with people – does not mean that you are depressed. If you are depressed, however, it is important not to take the signs and symptoms for granted. There are other symptoms that you may check, such as insomnia, “over or under” sleeping/eating, irritability or anger, loss of interest in people or things that used to be important for you, demotivation, or lethargy/lack of energy.

Considering that you could be burdened with physical pains and/or other cognitive or medical issues, spotting the non-specific symptoms can be more challenging. You can feel weak and uninterested to interact with others. If you have arthritis or another condition that gives you constant pain, irritability, loss of sleep and helplessness can be common reactions. If you have a chronic ailment, you could be losing sleep over your medical and maintenance costs.

Certain unfortunate events in your life may likewise increase your risk or vulnerability to depression. Studies reveal that any of the following: “irritability, loss of self-regard, social withdrawal, increased pain, recent illness or surgery, and recent loss” can occur along with the other symptoms of depression. If any of these is pervasive or lasting longer (two weeks or longer), it is important to seek professional help without delay.


Declining Health Can Contribute to Geriatric Depression

Take good care of your health. A medical or emotional condition can increase your vulnerability to depression or complicate it. This is true, even for younger people, as it results to restricted activities and social interactions.  Studies reveal that incapacitating and serious medical conditions among older adults – stroke, coronary attacks and complications, diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and vitamin B12 deficiency – can contribute to depression by affecting a senior’s mindset and behavior.

With conditions that affect your cognitive functions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia, it can be more difficult to recognize the symptoms of geriatric depression. How? Research shows that geriatric depression can affect a senior’s ability to focus and intellectual sharpness – these are the same characteristic features that a patient with these cognitive-impacting conditions typically manifest. Since it would be confusing for untrained people to tell the symptoms apart, it is best to see a professional, so a proper diagnosis can be made.

Professional assistance can make a difference, particularly when you are taking medications. Many medications can cause adverse effects. Since seniors with conditions are often taking several medications, drug interactions and side effects have a higher chance of occurrence. Therefore, these must be monitored. In addition, seeing a professional can be the best safety net that you can adopt. With a good therapist, you can improve your lifestyle and become dedicated to your wellness goals.


Feeling Good Late in Life

Feeling good and having a productive life aren’t just for the young and strong. These are for all ages. Having a satisfying life, though, can be more easily said than done because of poor physical and emotional health. The challenge can be more intense considering that the seniors of this generation were raised in a period when emotional conditions were misunderstood and not well regarded. Not knowing that it is a condition that requires treatment, you may want to keep it to yourself and try to “keep it under wraps.” This won’t help.

Understanding depression is important. This is the first step to feel better. Understanding can motivate you to seek the help you need and deserve, for your condition to be resolved, and for the threats of depression to be quashed. The diagnosis and the treatment are critical processes that must be properly undertaken by a qualified therapist or counselor. In North Carolina, the name that stands out is Carolina Counseling Services. If you are a resident of Fayetteville, a new office has just opened to better serve the neighborhood.

An experience counselor/therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC, can help you achieve the healthy outlook you deserve. CCS can match you with the right therapist or counselor to help you veer away from depression and have a satisfying senior life. While aging may take away your youth, there are other reasons that can give your life a new meaning. As you age, focus on what you have at hand – more time, freedom, and maybe a new purpose. Even with a medical issue, you can still be free from depression and be able to build a beautiful life.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Cumberland, Bladen and Sampson Counties, NC
Areas: Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Silver City NC, Linden NC, Bowmore NC, Autryville NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Pineview NC, Rex NC, Lemon Springs NC, Johnsonville NC, Eastover NC, Stedman NC and Wade, NC
Zip Codes: 28311, 28395, 28390, 28356

Counseling Information

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  • Call: 910-636-0011 (Fastest way to schedule)
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Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office, Fayetteville, NC

422 McArthur Road, Suite 2
FayettevilleNC 28311

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

Choose your Therapist

  • Becky Clark, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Anxiety, Depression, Individuals, Couples, Geriatrics, Criminal Justice, Stress Management, Loss and Grief related to death, disability, divorce, deployment, “empty nest”, retirement and other major life transitions
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC