Holiday Depression: How do I know if intervention is needed?

The holidays are often a time for happiness and joy, family celebrations, and fellowship with friends, but for some older adults, the holidays are a reminder of how their lives have changed due to lost loved ones or an inability to attend family gatherings because of physical limitations.  These reminders can often lead to depression or substance abuse.   According to a recent study conducted by the Institute of Medicine, one in five American seniors suffers from a mental health or substance abuse problem. During the holiday season, these issues may become more evident, leading healthcare professionals to diagnose previously unreported cases of depression and other mental health problems in our elderly population.

If you are concerned about a friend or loved one, look for these clues:

  • Unexplained or aggravated aches and pains
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Anxiety and worries
  • Memory problems
  • Lack of motivation and energy
  • Slowed movement and speech
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in socializing and hobbies
  • Neglecting personal care (skipping meals, forgetting medications, neglecting personal hygiene)

If you identify any of these symptoms in someone you love, do them a favor and take action!  If an elderly person that you care about is depressed, you can make a difference by being a resource for them. At Sunrise Behavioral Health, our staff is committed to working diligently with patients and their families. Through our individualized patient centered approach, we are often able to uncover the root cause of behavioral changes. Under the supervision of Sunrise Psychiatrist Dr. Malhotra, each patient is encouraged to participate in group and individual activities daily.

For more information regarding psychiatric care for elderly patients, contact Sunrise Behavioral Services today at 931-438-0263.

Leave a Comment