Once your parent is diagnosed with depression, it is imperative to get the help that they need to overcome it. While many treatment options are available, depression treatment in older adults must take into account a number of different factors. For example, it is important that you note, and tell the doctor what medicine your parent is taking and for what reason. Many medicines that treat the symptoms of depression will often interact with other medicines, decreasing the effectiveness of both. Even some over the counter medicines, such as cold remedies can affect and be affected by medicine used to treat depression.
Another factor to consider is that some prescription medicines used to treat depression in younger adults may be less effective in older people. Thankfully, a few medicines have been shown to be more effective. For example, the drug paroxetine, otherwise known by the brand name Paxil, has been shown by some research to be more effective in treating depression in older adults than other prescription choices.
However, it is important to remember that prescription medicines are not the only way to treat depression, and in some cases they aren’t even the most effective. Regular exercise, for example has been shown to be a viable antidote for depression. Something as simple as a brisk walk three times a week may relieve the most common symptoms of depression just as effectively as an antidepressant. Plus, there are a number of added benefits to regular exercise, such as a decrease in blood pressure, a more healthy weight, and overall mental health. So in addition to talking to your parent’s doctor about medicine for their depression, consider spending a few moments going for a walk one sunny afternoon with them. Chances are you will both benefit.
Another common treatment for depression is the use of talk therapy. However, for older adults, talk therapy may be a bit problematic. Often people from older generations are unaccustomed to talking about their feelings, and may resist opening up to a stranger, no matter how qualified they may be. However, once the bridge is made, and the connection set, talk therapy can be one of the most effective ways to deal with depression. One way to approach it is to talk to your parents and explain that talking to someone who is qualified may help to alleviate some of their feelings of depression, loneliness, and self-doubt. Try and make them realize that depression isn’t something that they can fix on their own. No one can.
Treating depression in older adults often means a combination of medicine, physical activity, and counseling. In addition, the support of friends and family members is essential to the success of any treatment. If one combination doesn’t seem to work after a while, don’t be afraid to try something different. In the end, finding the right treatment for your parent’s depression will be worth the effort.