Depression is a common problem in advancing years. It causes enormous human suffering and interferes with normal day-to-day life. It causes pain and suffering not only to the patients but also to their carers, much of which is unnecessary. Most people with a depression are unaware of the availability of treatment, though a majority of the sufferers can be helped. Depressive disorders are not the same as a passing sad mood and just cannot be wished away. Without treatment, symptoms last for weeks, months oryears.
Symptoms of depression are
- Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood feelings of hopelessness and pessimism.
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness.
- Loss of interest in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex.
- Insomnia, early-morning awakening or oversleeping.
- Loss of appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain.
- Decreased energy, fatigue and being “slowed down” thoughts of death or suicide and suicide attempts.
- Restlessness, irritability, difficulty in concentrating, forgetfulness and indecisiveness.
- Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain