Re-Igniting Your Passion for Life: 6 Things You Can Do to Make a Stand Against Senior Depression
Even if you have to reluctantly accept that certain aspects of your life will change as you enter your senior years there is no reason why you should let these potential adjustments to
your circumstances and lifestyle affect your passion for life. It could be that you make a decision to get assisted living accommodation so that you are able to enjoy a community atmosphere and maintain a good level of social interaction and that could be a positive factor if your fighting against depression.
Here is a look at the signs and effects of depression and some suggestions to help you combat the illness and reclaim your joy of life in your senior years.
A different interpretation of depression
The most common emotional description of depression is sadness but there is a fair chance that when you are older and in your senior years you not actually feel sad.
It can often be the case that a large percentage of seniors who have been diagnosed with depression say that they do not feel sad, Instead, they report that they are suffering from a variety of complaints such as a distinct lack of motivation, a noticeable loss of energy, and aching joints and headaches. Any of these symptoms can often be interpreted as a symptom of depression when you are a senior.
Understanding the difference between grief and depression
Sadly, it is a fact of life that you will experience several painful losses as you get older and that doesn’t just mean losing a loved one. It can also be a painful experience to experience loss in a number of different ways. These losses can be when you experience a loss of mobility, such as giving up your car, or when your career has ended and you no longer have any work commitments to think about. These adjustments to your life are painful and can actually feel like grief but the fundamental point to remember is that these emotions will pass as you learn to cope with each new
chapter in your life and accept the changes. If the feelings of emptiness and a sense of desperation seem impossible to shake off, even after a period of time has passed, this could be an indication that you might be suffering from depression rather than grief, which has a more temporary nature. Being able to distinguish between an emotional response to changing circumstances and a
clinical condition that you may need help with can make a big difference in finding a way to move forward with your life and put a smile back on your face.
Self-help is a positive way forward
The first thing to say is that there is absolutely no truth in the well-worn observation that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. This saying can be aptly applied to the challenges facing you as a senior and your response will be to confirm that you are definitely never too old to embrace some new challenges and learn new skills or enjoy some exciting new activities. Making some positive lifestyle changes in response to feelings of depression can have a positive impact on the way you are feeling and it is a great way to face up to the threat of depression taking control of your life. The obvious difficulty you might face is that your self-help initiatives might be thwarted by the fact that you are suffering from a lack of motivation and energy as a result of depression.However, if you take a few baby steps forward every day and increase your activities as you improve it should soon start to have a positive impact on how you feel.
Depression can soon become a vicious circle if you let it take control and one of the worst things you can do is succumb to the condition by withdrawing from your usual activities and
shunning contact from friends and family. The bottom line is that isolation can be damaging and it will only help worsen your depression if you take this route. Don’t let that happen, make sure you stay connected with your social circle and remember that telephone or social media contact is a poor substitute for actuall face-to-face interaction. Get out and about if you want to combat feelings of depression.
Focus on finding a meaningful purpose in life
Going back to the issue of suffering from the effects of change in your life it is essential that you work hard at taking your life in a new and meaningful direction rather than allow your
past to hold you back. The positive mental attitude you need to adopt is all about focusing on what you are able to do right now and in the future rather than thinking too much about what you used to do in previous chapters of your life. There is no reason to allow the aging process to dent your confidence or completely dictate what you can or can’t do. Instead, accept the challenge of finding a new purpose in life. Give your brain a workout by learning a new skill
One of the best ways to combat depression and enjoy your senior life would be to take up the challenge of learning a new skill.
It really can be anything that you have fancied trying in the past but never got around to doing. Now that you have more time on your hands there is a great opportunity to throw yourself into the challenge of learning a new language or discovering how to play the piano, for example.
The benefits of giving your brain a workout are obvious. Learning a new skill will help you combat depression and it will also have a positive impact on your brain health and make a
favorable contribution toward preventing mental decline. There is no reason to let depression gain the upper hand and your senior years should be a golden period in your life, so make a plan to enjoy yourself.