Depression In Adults Over 55

Tom Cruise bashed it; Brooke Shields defended its seriousness; we all experience it from time to time: depression. The aging process, however, can lead to a special susceptibility. Individuals over the age of 55 face unique life transitions as part of the aging process. Transitioning from full-time employment to retirement, the death of a loved one, children moving away, declining health of self or loved one, the care-giving responsibilities that result, losses related to health issues such as chronic health problems, hearing problems, loss/ change of driving privileges can all lead to depression.

Symptoms of Depression

Some symptoms of depression include declining motivation, feeling sad or hopeless, reduced ability to concentrate, thoughts of death or suicide, losing interest in previously enjoyable activities, irritability, an inability to sleep or excessive sleeping, and weight gain or loss. Some symptoms like physical pain, memory loss, and social isolation are especially prevalent in those older than 55. Because becoming depressed is a gradual process, someone who is experiencing depression commonly does not recognize the symptoms. Others in the person's family or social circle usually bring these symptoms to his or her attention.

Seeking Help

If you or someone you know is experiencing depression, help is available. Talking to your family doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing is important. Your doctor can rule out other physical causes of the symptoms and also can evaluate whether a medication would help reduce symptoms.

An Important Resource Is The Licensed Therapist

That professional can help you sort out the causes of the emotional stress and help you plan for dealing with the stress. Some therapists are specially trained to help those who are 55 or older deal with their life changes. The job of a geriatric counselor is to help individuals talk about their experiences and losses. He or she also can help you develop practical steps to lessen the feelings of stress certain life events can cause. As a person ages, new stressors related to changes, transitions, or losses can fuel depression, but help is available to make these transitions more tolerable.

Concerns About Memory Loss?

As we age it is normal to experience some changes in memory. However, when those changes become problematic, answers are needed to help you cope and receive the proper treatment. Bowden & Associates provide psychological assessments of cognitive abilities. These evaluations are provided upon the referral of your physician. If you, or a loved one, is experiencing memory difficulties, contact the physician for a referral. Proper diagnosis and recommendations for treatment are essential for healthy aging.

Kristen McCort, M. Ed, PCC, is a counselor who specializes
in treating those over 55. She may be reached at
Bowden & Associates
365 Riffel Rd, Suite B
Wooster, Ohio
or by phone at 330.345.3461.

Bowden & Associates is a private practice offering psychological
and counseling services for the entire family. Associates at the practice include:

Marianne Bowden, Ph.D. Psychologist
Kristen McCort, M. Ed. PCC Professional Clinical Counselor
Thomas Funk, M.A. Ed., PCC, LSW, CSC Professional Clinical Counselor
Mary Ann Pap-Barbera, MSSA

Bowden & Associates
Psychological and Counseling Services for the Entire Family
Helping you achieve emotional, physical, social, intellectual and spiritual well-being.

365 Riffel Rd., Ste B
Wooster, Ohio 44691
Phone: 330.345.3461
Fax: 330.345.3462