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Depression may be affecting parents

Your parents are important fixtures in your life. They taught you, comforted you and nurtured you. When you were down, your mom wrapped you up in her arms and told you everything would be alright. When you fell and scraped your knee, your dad was swift to remedy the cut with a bandage and some words of encouragement.

You love your parents, so seeing them age can be difficult. When people age, symptoms of depression can appear. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, 14.8 million adults suffer from major depression in the United States.

Depression is a mood disorder. This illness causes a variety of emotional and physical problems. It can affect every aspect of a person’s life. The World Health Organization predicts that depression will be the “second leading cause of disability in the world in 2020.”

General symptoms of depression include:

  • Intense feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Irritability, anger and frustration
  • Changes in sleep behavior
  • Fluctuation in appetite
  • Unexplained physical pains
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Suicidal thoughts

Depression frequently coincides with getting older. Depression often goes undiagnosed and therefore untreated in older adults. If your parent’s suffer from any of the following symptoms, you may want to talk to them about seeking help for depression.

Symptoms in older people:

  • Personality shifts
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of socialization
  • Fatigue and sleep issues
  • Change in appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts

Depression is a disorder that can completely alter your parent’s day to day activities. It is possible that your mom and dad can apply for Social Security disability benefits if they are diagnosed with depression.

Don’t lose hope. Your parents can seek treatment for their depression. The most common treatments for depression involve medication and psychotherapy. Don’t let your mom and dad suffer alone. Look for warning signs and encourage them to seek options for a better quality of life.

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