Recognizing Depression

May 3rd, 2022

Did you know that according to the Government of Canada, 1 in 6 adults over the age of 65 suffer from depression? In recognition of Mental Health Wellness Week, Stevestion Medicine Shoppe, a pharmacy that partners with Optima Living community, Wisteria Place, is drawing awareness to the reality of depression amongst seniors.


The term "depression" is often misused to describe temporary feelings of sadness, demoralization and melancholy. We all, at one point or another, talk about feeling depressed, but there is a distinct difference to be made between "feeling blue", "down" or sad and depression.

The symptoms of depression can affect daily tasks. Even the simplest tasks can appear daunting and impossible to carry out. However, with the proper diagnosis and treatment, depression can be overcome.

Many seniors are susceptible to depression due to health deterioration, social isolations, and many other factors. It is important to recognize depression and seek professional help without feeling disapproved.


Causes

Depression is caused by a combination of biochemical, genetic and environmental factors. It is in no way a sign of weakness.

Depression is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain involving neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are responsible for behaviour, thought and emotion. This type of imbalance can lead to distorted thinking and a skewed view of reality akin to wearing blacked-out glasses that cannot be removed.


Symptoms

The symptoms of depression can vary from person to person and are not necessarily easy to identify.

• Anxiety

• Suicidal Thoughts

• Persistent self-defeating attitude

• Loss of interest in daily activities

• Fatigue, weakness

• Crying easily, for no reason

• Irritability

• Disturbed sleep patterns (insomnia or hypersomnia)

• Withdrawal

• Feelings of guilt or worthlessness

• Change in appetite or weight

• Sadness, hopelessness, despair

If you experience a marked change in mood or a noticeable loss of interest or enjoyment in previously pleasurable activities or if you have had a few of these symptoms for more than two weeks, we strongly encourage you to speak to your doctor, to a health care professional (pharmacist, nurse) or to a loved one. Talking to someone is the first step to getting help. The longer you wait before being diagnosed, the longer treatment will take. It is therefore recommended that you seek professional help as soon as possible.

The team at Steveston Medicine Shoppe is ready to help you with any health concerns.

Visit mentalhealthweek.ca to learn more.