H-CENTRAL COAST

Dec 19, 2012 8:35 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Senior depression on the rise during holidays

According to mental health professionals, depression is on the rise among seniors, and increases during the holidays.
In fact, there are more suicides among seniors than any other age group due to depression.
Everyone feels sad or blue sometimes, and the stress associated with holidays may stir feelings of loss or separation.
According to Sonnie Brown, director at Hospice of San Luis Obispo, seniors can be depressed for a number of reasons. Those can include issues with health, finances, loss of independence or being alone or separated from loved ones.
She also says there are ways to identify if a loved one is becoming depressed.
"For someone reaching the end of their life they've experienced a lot of losses, and depression is often related directly to their losses," says Brown, "Whether it's their own physical abilities, or having fewer friends and family that may be nearby that they can engage with, even a loss of income can have a significant effect," says Brown.
She also added sleep changes, dietary changes, excessive crying and lack of interest in things that were once enjoyable are all additional symptoms that could be indicators of a real problem.
Brown says if you think someone may be suffering from depression, don't be afraid to talk to them about it. Verbal acknowledgment can help lead to the proper treatment options.
She also says always try and seek out professional help.

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