Mental Health Awareness Month was originally celebrated in 1949. That was 73 years ago! The goals of the sponsoring organization, originally the National Committee for Mental Hygiene (now Mental Health America), were to improve attitudes toward mental health/illness, improve services for mental health clients, and promote mental health.
While any person can have bouts of depression, older adults are often more vulnerable to chronic depression. Studies indicate older adults tend to be more at risk for depression due to increased social isolation, natural losses over a lifetime, and their tendency to decrease social engagements as they age, which can impact feelings for loneliness.
Potential signs of mental health distress in seniors may include feelings of sadness, tearfulness, lack of motivation, increased sleep, irritability, decline in appetite, and stating feelings that no one cares or understands them, to name just a few symptoms. It’s important to remember depression doesn’t have to be a part of aging.
At The Castlewood Senior Living, Nixa, Missouri we understand depression is a treatable condition like diabetes or hypertension. Don’t settle for being depressed at any age! It is not a normal part of getting older. A primary care physician or mental health specialist can address chronic feelings of sadness.