Depression is very common in seniors. After retiring there are many seniors who do not really know what to do. Or when they lose their partner, this can have a large impact on seniors. Depression in seniors thus can have many different causes, just like in adults. That which is different, however, is that depression in seniors is not always easy to recognize. In adults, depression is very similar to burnout, but depression in seniors also often has symptoms which are similar to dementia, for example. Furthermore, you can sometimes notice as a child or grandchild that the (grand)parent makes depressed remarks. Often it is difficult to know how to interpret such a remark. Especially because many seniors are happy again after a few minutes and glad to see you. As child or grandchild it therefore can be difficult to know what to think of this.

Depression in seniors? What are the characteristics of depression in seniors?

Just like in adults, there are certain characteristics which point at depression. The characteristics of depression in adults do not differ so much from characteristics of depression in seniors. below, we list the characteristics of depression in seniors:

  • unhappy mood
  • not being interested/not having fun
  • gaining or losing a lot of weight
  • frequent sleepiness
  • feeling agitated or weak
  • fatigue or lack of energy
  • exaggerated feeling of worthlessness
  • feeling of guilt.
  • reduced thinking and focusing abilities
  • digestive issues
  • changes in weight
  • vague complaints
  • suicidal thoughts

According to the DSM, at least 5 characteristics of depression must be present for at least 2 weeks in order for a depression in seniors to be relevant. Here we can thus find a useful difference between depressed remarks and seemingly depressed remarks, which we spoke of earlier. To consider depression in seniors, the symptoms must be present for a period of 2 weeks, continuously. Like in adults, the seniors then may hardly experience any joy, meaning that it is unlikely for them to be happy again only 2 minutes after a depressed remark. The depression will thus make it so that the (grand)parent is somber all the time and no longer has the will to live.

Depression in seniors? Treating depression in seniors?

For seniors it is not always easy to find their way to healthcare. If you as a senior are apt when it comes to using a computer, it might be good for you to follow the online self-help program by 15 Minutes 4 Me. The program was inspired by therapeutic techniques in order to help people improve and recover from minor to slightly more severe forms of depression. By following the program for fifteen minutes per day, we guide you in renewing your own capacities and once again discovering what it is that makes you happy.

Depression in seniors? Take the free depression test!

Would you like to know to what extent you might experience a depression or which depression characteristics you experience? Then take our free depression test here!