Recognizing the Symptoms of Depression in Your Parent

As an adult, it often becomes imperative to recognize how the health of your parents is changing. For older adults, one of the most common conditions suffered through is depression. If you’re concerned that your mother or father may be suffering from depression, here are a few of the warning signs that you should be looking for.

In most cases, recognizing depression in an older adult can be problematic. Most people who suffer from depression don’t automatically threaten suicide. It is usually entangled with physical ailments, and many friend and family members wrongly believe that the feelings of depression will automatically cease once the parent becomes better. In actuality, the many medicines that older adults take often have side effects that can mask depressive symptoms, making the depression harder and harder to treat. So sometimes a simple question of “are you all right” will be answered with an honest “yes”.

It is also important to realize that the symptoms of depression for an older adult is often much different than those for a younger adult. Often expressions of frustration, irritability, and prolonged sadness are indications that the depression experienced by your parent may be more problematic than first realized. For example, while depression after the death of a spouse is normal, a prolonged sense of sadness that goes well beyond what is considered normal may indicate a case of clinical depression.

The best way to gauge symptoms, especially when they can be so subjective, is to have a conversation with your parent on a regular basis. Ask them non-judgmental questions. Ask them how they are feeling, or try and see what their interest levels are like for everyday activities. Check to see if your Mom still enjoys her weekly bridge game, or if your father still likes to watch every sport report from the evening news. If you see changes in their attitude, or if they no longer enjoy activities that they previously were passionate about, it may indicate depression.

By learning how to recognize the symptoms of depression in an older adult, you can possibly help your parent in ways that neither of you realized was possible. Depression is one of the most common conditions suffered by older adults, and it can be treated once it is recognized for what it is.

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How to Stop Burnout Before It Starts

Burnout affects your mind, body and spirit. It can make you exhausted, anxious, and even depressed if you don’t make changes – it can even cause health problems. Recognizing warning signs can help you stop burnout before it begins. Life changes encourage this as well.

Here are a few tips to keeping burnout away:

Pace your work: Don’t take on too much. Give yourself breaks – it’s healthy! Use management techniques to ensure you are on track. Take things off if there are too many.

Avoid Exhaustion: Stay in tune with your body – don’t ignore it! Do things to improve your energy – recharge your battery with things you love – remember what makes you tick and keep it near. Don’t lose knowing about things that you love. Like wen you are small and you love horses or baseball – keep things that make you tick as an adult!

Change Is Good: If you see a repeating pattern of reaching the burnout point – then it’s time for a change – change can be very good! Change a job, a relationship, a house, a garden, etc.

Take Breaks: psychologically you need breaks. There are reasons why you need them. Your mind is not a machine it is a living organ that needs time to refresh, rejuvenate, and renew. Go for a 10-minute walk, play game, or just simply get away from the work for 10 minutes.

Ask For Help: If you need help – it’s okay to ask for it. Vent your frustrations but focus on the issue not the person – that always helps most and hurts less!

Set Boundaries and Learn to Say No: If you say yes to everything then you are being more than accommodating you are being a door mat. You must have your boundaries just like others must have theirs.

Listen to Your Alarms: Most importantly you must listen to yourself. If something seems wrong then it probably is. You must discover what is setting your alarm off. You are valid and you deserve to know what makes you tick. You have mechanisms in place to protect you and others so be sure to listen to your alarms.

Breath: If you ever begin to panic or become very nervous – remember to breath and tell yourself that this will pass too. You need to know what you can handle and get out when you can’t handle something. If you can’t get away from a source of stress, wait until you can and then go take a walk or a break or something. Movement really makes a huge difference. Move the blood in your body to help heal stress.

These are just a few ways to avoid burnout. Do it – it matters!

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