Understanding Depression Interdisciplinary, Community-Based, Health Education for Diverse Elders. HRSA Grant #1 D37 HP 00838-01. Prof. Ellen Greer, MA,
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Understanding Depression Interdisciplinary, Community-Based, Health Education for Diverse Elders. HRSA Grant #1 D37 HP 00838-01. Prof. Ellen Greer, MA, OTR/L, C.PsyA Prof. Luis F. Riquelme, MS,CCC-SLP Prof. Ellen Godwin, MS, PT Prof. Rebecca States, PhD Assoc. Dean William Susman, PhD, PT
What is Depression? A serious medical illness that should be treated at any age. Often occurs along with other physical (medical?) conditions.
Depression Affects the Whole Person Serious depressions are “whole body disorders.” Depression affects the body, feelings, thoughts, and behavior.
Depression May Go Unnoticed Symptoms are often overlooked when they happen at the same time as Other medical illnesses Difficult life events Symptoms of depression are not the same as Temporary blues or Sad moods that everyone feels after a loss
Depression Can Be Disabling Depression involves a set of painful symptoms. Symptoms can last for months or years. People who suffer with these symptoms are changed from the way they were before. Symptoms can interfere with every day activities, and become a disability.
10 Symptoms of Depression 1.Persistent sad, anxious or “empty mood” 2.Loss of interest or pleasure in activities 3.Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying 4.Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness 5.Sleeping too much or too little, early morning awakening
Symptoms … 6.Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain 7.Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down” 8.Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts 9.Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions 10.Lasting physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment … headaches, digestive problems, chronic pain
Depression Can Involve Mood Cycles Some people with depressive illness experience cycles of terrible”lows” and inappropriate “highs”. This emotional roller coaster is called “bipolar disorder” or “manic depressive illness.”
Symptoms of Mood Cycles Abnormally elevated Inappropriate social energy behavior IrritabilityRisk taking behavior Racing thoughtsPoor judgment Grandiose notionsIncreased talking Increased activity Markedly increased Severe Insomnia mood
What Are The Causes? The causes are not always known. Symptoms may appear for no apparent reason. Symptoms may be associated with a life crisis, stress or other illness. Depressive illnesses run in families.
Diagnosis Involves Having a Good Checkup Rule out other problems: Complete physical exam and medical work up Complete history of current and previous symptoms Questions about illnesses of other family members Questions about mood, memory, and changes in relationships
Depression in Later Life Prevalence Over 2 million of the 34 million Americans agend 65 and older suffer from some form of depression. Co-occurring Illnesses Symptoms can be triggered by other chronic illnesses, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer and arthritis. Widowhood One-third of widows/widowers meet criteria for depression in the first month after the death of their spouse and half of these individuals remain clinically depressed after one year.
Effective Treatments Are Available! Treatment is needed !!!!! When 4 or more of these symptoms last longer than 2 weeks or interfere with ordinary functioning, professional treatment is needed. Medications and psychosocial treatments are often used in combination. Nearly everyone can be helped quickly. Individuals or family members with concerns about the co-occurrence of depression with another illness should discuss these issues with their primary physician.
Encourage Anyone Who Is Depressed To Get Help People with serious depression need encouragement from family and friends to get a diagnosis and to seek the treatment that can ease their pain. Some people need even more help, they need to be taken to treatment.
Seek Treatment or Referral from: Physicians Mental health specialists Community mental health centers Family service/social agencies Health maintenance organizations Hospital departments of psychiatry or outpatient psychiatric clinics University or medical school affiliated programs Private clinics and facilities
Support Groups Many people benefit from joining mutual and family support groups. For a list of groups in your area, contact: National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Colonial Place Three 2107 Wilson Blvd. Suite 300 Arlington, VA 222011-3042 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
Understanding Depression Q & A Questions and Answers