Depression in Seniors
The senior population has a disproportionately higher rate of suicide than the rest of the population. The condition that is most often associated with suicide in seniors is depression, which is a mental illness that is often unrecognized or under-recognized and, thus, may go untreated or undertreated.
If you notice signs of depression in a loved one, encourage them to seek help and speak up. Let them know that effective treatment may be possible. Common signs of depression are feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or anxiety, an increase or decrease in appetite, and feeling irritable and restless, among others. Please see our depression page for more symptoms and information.
If you notice signs of depression in yourself, you may want to seek help and treatment from your physician. There are treatments, like antidepressant medication and psychotherapy, that can help treat depression.
Consider the following questions; If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should consider talking to your physician about the way you are feeling. Your physician can help you get the resources and treatment you need.
- Do you feel that life is not worth living?
- Do you feel that your situation is hopeless?
- Have you ever thought about really hurting yourself?
- Have you been thinking about killing yourself?
- Have you made a plan?
- Have you written the note?
- Do you have the weapon/pills/etc. to carry it out?
Consider the following questions as well. If your answers are not good, consider discussing this with your physician.
- How bad is it?
- What do you think you would do?
Speaking up and recognizing these feelings in yourself may not always be easy, but effective help and treatment may be found. Consider contacting your physician and seeking treatment for help.