Signs of Depression You May Be Overlooking
As one of the most commonly experienced mental health problems, depression can affect people of all ages and backgrounds diminishing one’s quality of life in distinctive ways. Depression can vary in severity and duration with some conditions taking so severe a toll on a person’s well-being as to bring on full-blown disability.
Signs of depression can also vary with some people experiencing the more common symptoms while others exhibit less obvious signs that can be easily overlooked. This can be especially true in the case of older adults as the effects of age take a toll on the body’s resiliency. Knowing the types of symptoms that can be overlooked can help in getting needed treatment help before signs of depression worsen over time.
Signs of depression develop out of biochemical changes in the brain that alter how a person perceives and experiences his or her daily life. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, traumatic events, such as job loss, an unhealthy relationship or the death of a loved one can easily trigger the types of biochemical changes that cause depression.
The feelings of sadness and despair that result can drive a person to engage in destructive behavior patterns as a means to cope with emotional distress. Over time, destructive behavior patterns only work to reinforce the brain’s imbalanced chemical state causing a person to become even more so entrenched in depression.
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Signs of Depression Often Overlooked
Signs of depression commonly overlooked typically hide behind the events and demands of the day in terms of the toll a hectic schedule can have on the mind and body. Subsequently, these hidden signs of depression can easily be mistaken for passing physical ailments when a deeper problem may be at work.
According to Harvard Health Publications, signs to watch out for include:
- Drastic drop in energy levels
- Problems concentrating
- Memory lapses
- Inability to get a restful night’s sleep
- Chronic and/or random aches and pains
- Decrease in appetite or loss of appetite
Depression in Older Adults
The aging process takes a toll on the mind as well as the body, making it increasingly difficult to recover from traumatic events whether they be experienced in the body or the emotions. Likewise, when an older adult visits the doctor, he or she is much more likely to present with physical ailments that may well be hidden signs of depression depending on any one person’s life circumstances.
Older adults are more likely to be living with chronic medical conditions that can also trigger signs of depression. Certain medications used to treat these conditions may also disrupt the brain’s natural chemistry creating conditions for depression to take hold.
Depression-based conditions only grow worse in severity when left untreated, which can easily happen when signs of depression go overlooked. Fortunately, depression is a highly treatable condition so seeking out needed treatment help is essential to improving one’s quality of life from here on out.
If you suspect you or someone you know may be showing signs of depression and need help finding treatment that meets your needs, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320 to speak with one of our phone counselors.
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