Depression in the elderly: how young we were
In all honesty, it’s scary to be alone, to become useless. And worst of all - you understand that you can't go back and this will only intensify if nothing is done …
We have already played the first half
And we only managed to understand one thing:
So that they do not lose you on earth, Try not to lose yourself!
Old age pension … It even sounds offensive. Another reminder.
And so the feeling that with age you lose yourself part by part, turn into a shadow of the person you were before, become more and more unnecessary and invisible. And it makes you feel worse and worse. What is it, depression?
Depression in the elderly: features
When we lead an active social life: work, family, friends, new acquaintances - we feel in demand. Both personal and professional qualities are realized in the society of which we feel ourselves.
With age, especially after retirement, the number of social connections usually decreases dramatically. There are no colleagues with whom we have worked together to resolve work issues. Children have grown up, they have their own families, their own worries - you communicate less and less, sometimes even living under one roof. Friends and acquaintances also do not get younger. All this knocks out of the usual rut.
And health reminds of itself more and more often. The realization comes that this cannot be changed. It is important that there are relatives nearby who, if suddenly something, will definitely take care and help. On the other hand, you don't want to feel like a burden.
In all honesty, it’s scary to be alone, to become useless. And worst of all - you understand that you can't go back and this will only intensify if nothing is done.
Signs of age-related depression
If an elderly person comes to see a psychologist, then most often they complain about the following:
- Bad mood,
- fear of the future, for loved ones,
- feeling of uselessness,
Also, an aged patient speaks of a deterioration in physical condition:
- trouble sleeping
- loss of appetite,
- weight loss,
- general deterioration in health.
In part, these signs can appear due to age-related changes in the body. But often they are due to emotional and psychological reasons.
Causes of Depression in Older People
We have already mentioned the main reason. This is a significant decrease in social ties, a dropout from society. A person is a social being, develops and feels comfortable in the presence of good relations with others, a sense of his own relevance and involvement in something greater than himself.
When such opportunities are not available or they are sharply reduced after retirement, the feeling of uselessness and detachment from what is happening around causes negative internal states akin to depression. It seems that life is passing by, and you are no longer in business. But how is that? After all, only recently everything was completely different. It can be very difficult to deal with such a change. Especially if your relatives do not understand your worries or there are almost no loved ones.
The loss of the opportunity to use one's abilities and talents at any age reduces the quality of life. We want to feel useful, needed, to use what is in us by nature, enjoying the process, and get the result. The formula for dissatisfaction is simple: I want it and I don't get it. I want to realize myself in society, but I have lost this opportunity.
Some causes of bad conditions depend on the partial or complete loss of what is life values for a particular person.
For example, financial well-being. Nobody wants to survive on a small pension or to be completely dependent on children. But if a person has always been ambitious, aimed at success and profit, had a business acumen, and strived for material superiority, then a sharp decline in income after retirement is especially painful for him. This is perceived as a lowering of social status.
Or a person who has worked faithfully in the profession for many years. Over the course of a long working history, he became a real master of his craft, honed his skills, gained authority and respect from colleagues. Maybe he was one of the best. And now his experience has become unnecessary? He gave so much effort and effort for the good of the common cause, but what next? Very disappointing. It would be good if at least they were thanked for the long conscientious work.
A sociable, emotional person will find it difficult to part with a loved one. If there is no way to share experiences and impressions with others, such a person begins to experience severe melancholy. He feels the suffering from loneliness especially strongly.
Lack of communication and emotional connections with other people is one of the main causes of depression in old people, regardless of their psychological characteristics. What do you think motivates older people to start conversations with strangers in the transport, shop or clinic?
Features of negative conditions in men and women aged
Sometimes age experiences are different for men and women.
- A man is usually primarily focused on social fulfillment. He is used to being the breadwinner in the family, providing for his wife and children, having a certain weight in society, being the master of his own life. Therefore, depression in older men may be associated with the loss of a leading role in the family, in the team, with the awareness of their own dependence.
- For most women, realization in a couple and in a family is more important than professional, social. Personal failures are much more difficult for them. Lack of warm family relations, attention from children and grandchildren can lead a woman to think that somewhere she, as a mother, did not cope, did not take place. Or even my family did not work out. This is one of the main causes of depression in older women.
Although there is no hard division, and both aspects are important in the life of both men and women.
Depression after retirement: how to deal with it
The lightning has burnt out in the sky, And the storm dies down in the hearts.
Do not forget our beloved faces, Do not forget our dear eyes.
Understanding the peculiarities of your psyche and knowing the causes of negative internal states, it is easier to cope with the latter.
It is important not to lose connections with society. It is good if there is an opportunity to maintain contact with former colleagues: to be interested in business (perhaps you can advise something on work, based on your experience), to visit each other.
Communicate more with other friends and acquaintances, neighbors. Maybe it will be possible to organize some kind of joint pastime. By joint efforts, set up a flower garden near the house, arrange creative evenings or even gather an amateur ensemble, join any public organization, sign up for sports classes especially for the elderly, just get together for tea, reading or playing chess.
Choose what interests you based on your interests and desires. Maybe there was something that I wanted to try for a long time, but my hands did not reach. Right now!
Any hobby that you like can drive away melancholy thoughts, at least temporarily. Some people find in their hobby an additional way to earn money. They knit to order or make something, look after neighbors' children, escort them to kindergarten or school, if the parents do not have such an opportunity. Former teachers can tutor at home.
It's great to get out from time to time. Go to concerts or performances. Moreover, for pensioners there are often discounts and profitable subscriptions. Sometimes there are events that are free to enter. Some fairs, festivals, city holidays - all this is not only for young people. Even during the football championship in the street fanzones, one could meet elderly people who had a great time.
Maintain a relationship with your family. Even if there were some disagreements with relatives, now is the time to understand the reasons for the discord and get closer. You yourself need loved ones, but you also have something to offer: give wise advice to children, listen to what worries them, sympathize with misfortunes and rejoice at success, help with raising grandchildren.
There is one simple secret of communication: focus not on yourself, but on others, on their experiences. Then your sorrows fade into the background, and the interlocutor, imperceptibly for himself, is imbued with sympathy for you. We need those who understand us and show us participation. So do not be the one who expects it from others - be the one who gives it to them. By giving, we end up with a lot more.
Yuri Burlan's training "System-vector psychology" helps to feel the joy of life at any age. If you've ever been interested in the psychology and mysteries of the human soul, why not take the opportunity and listen to free lectures?
How to get a person out of depression: advice to loved ones
It's hard when your family members feel bad and you don't know how to help. Understanding mental characteristics contributes to the ability to find the right approach to a specific person, to offer the way that he will perceive best, which will give him genuine joy, and not cause rejection.
Remember that an older person is overwhelmed by feelings of uselessness and loneliness. Try to spend more time with him. Find common topics, talk about what is happening around, ask for his opinion. It's good if you manage to do something or go somewhere together. Maintain emotional closeness with a loved one: the opportunity to sincerely share feelings and experiences is something that we all often lack.
Help an aged relative not to lose touch with the world. For example, teach how to work with a computer and set up the Internet - let him find old acquaintances on social networks, follow new products, communicate on thematic forums, participate in master classes, undergo trainings - he will choose what is interesting to him.
Cultivate goodwill and respect for grandparents in your children. By doing this you will help the old people, yourself, and your children. Indeed, in the older generation, we subconsciously see our future. What will our old age be like? Will someone take care of us?
Sometimes communication is difficult. Our own bad states make themselves felt: resentment, fears, irritability, general dissatisfaction with life, depression. To understand oneself and get rid of the burden of negativity, it helps to understand one's nature, the characteristics of the psyche and ways to realize innate desires.
At the training "System-Vector Psychology" by Yuri Burlan, you can learn to see from within yourself and others, in the best way to build relationships with loved ones, with children and parents, with friends and the team.
Understanding what abilities we want and can realize, how to embody it, we get the opportunity to live a full and rich life at any age. The past will be a source of precious memories and experiences. The present is a source of joy and sincere relationships. And the future is full of hopes and faith in the best.
Remember how it was in the song:
Nothing on earth passes without a trace, And the departed youth is still immortal.