Depression and the Elderly

Depression can be an issue for anyone, but the elderly amongst us are especially vulnerable. When you think about it, the reasons are pretty simple. Part of the happiness we derive from life comes from good physical health and sharp cognitive abilities. Both of these decline with age, making even the basics of regular life increasingly challenging. That often leads to depression and a sense of hopelessness that makes the sadness even acuter.

Here are some of the reasons why people become depressed in their golden years:

“I’m Worthless”

People who were very productive and successful while young and healthy can find it especially difficult to cope with the declines that naturally come with aging. No longer possessing the feelings of accomplishment that provided them with their drive, these individuals soon begin to feel that they no longer have any value.

“I’m Alone”

Seniors often find it difficult to get around easily due to physical complaints. That means they tend to spend more time alone away from family and friends. This isolation can lead to sadness and considerable loneliness. Also, some people outlive those close to them, increasing that sense of being on their own forever.

“I No Longer Have Hope”

When faced with many new physical and/or cognitive challenges, seniors can find it tough to remember the good times in life. That makes them more likely to feel that all of these years of victory and struggle have been for naught.

“I Have No More Enjoyment in Life”

If you find it challenging to do the things that bring you pleasure, you will be less inclined to try doing them. While they may seem inconsequential, many of the joys we get from life come from friendly interactions, hobbies, and quiet, contemplative moments. Without them, life can seem rather empty and not worth living.

Here is an informative video on the subject: