Research indicates that over two million Americans aged 65 and above suffer some form of depression, making it a condition worth addressing. While it’s not a normal part of the aging process, older adults have a higher risk of experiencing it and other mental health conditions. Fortunately, you can overcome it should you know the right thing to do. That said, here are some helpful strategies to mitigate depression.
Don’t isolate yourself
While depression can cause pessimism, decreased energy, and suicide feelings, you don’t have to deal with it alone. According to Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, lack of social connection can induce other health problems and premature mortality. Therefore, experts advise that you build and maintain healthy relationships. For instance, you may create a daily schedule to communicate with friends and family and join a class to learn something new. You may also consider adopting a pet or a robot companion to keep you engaged. Perhaps, you can leverage social media to keep abreast with friends and loved ones more efficiently or volunteer in community service.
Psychotherapy or talk therapy is an effective strategy to leverage if you struggle with depression. Not only does it help you combat stress, but it also enables you to stick to your treatment. Besides, it gives you a new perspective on life’s issues and helps you open up to people about your struggles without shame. Fortunately, you can leverage different psychotherapy types, depending on your preference. For example, you may opt for cognitive therapy to work on your thoughts and behaviors or interpersonal therapy to identify and combat unhealthy behaviors. You can also leverage organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for a credible psychotherapist.
Get physically active
Not only does exercise sculpt your body, but it also benefits your mental health. A Journal of Physical Activity & Health study revealed that older adults who participated in physical exercises experienced lesser anxiety and depression levels than when they started. What’s more, it reduces your risks of developing cardiovascular diseases and improves your cognitive function. Therefore, you may want to develop an exercise routine if you haven’t already done so. However, it’s prudent to visit your doctor to determine the right workouts for you. Experts recommend moderate aerobic exercise like walking and resistance band workouts for the best results. You can also click here >> for ways to enhance your workout experience.
Leverage medication for depression
You may also opt for antidepressants, as they improve your brain’s ability to control your mood. What’s more, you may have to try several medications before discovering the suitable one for you. Popular antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants. However, it’s not advisable to get off medication without your doctor’s recommendation, as it could trigger depression symptoms. Therefore, it’s best to carry your doctor along as you leverage this treatment option. Moreover, antidepressants take two to four weeks to work. Therefore, it’s best to exercise patience as you determine the right one for you.
You can combat depression once you know the proper steps to take. Hopefully, you’ll follow these tips for a happier life.