Things That Make Depression Worse

Depression is all too common in older adults, and there are many triggers that can make depression worse.

There are more than two million Americans who are 65 or older who suffer from a form of clinical depression. Though depression is not a normal part of the aging process, health problems, lost loved ones and lifestyle adjustments can all trigger the onset of depression. Depression is a very treatable mental illness, but if you suffer from it, it's important to know which triggers can make your depression worse. At Salem Lutheran Homes & Rehabilitation Center, our senior housing experts in Elk Horn are dedicated to helping our residents live healthy, happy and independent lives, and a big part of that is coping with depression. That's why we've come up with this list of common triggers that can make depression worse:

#1. Stress

Many people think that, when you retire from your job, your stress just melts away, but millions of older adults who have surpassed retirement have found that stress is still very real, even when you no longer have to go to work. Regardless of what is causing the stress in your life, it's important to find healthy ways to cope with it because it can trigger depression.

#2. Sleep Deprivation

When you don't get enough sleep, it can hinder your health in a number of ways, and your mental health is no exception. Some studies have found that people who have insomnia are 10 times more likely to develop depression. If you have difficulties sleeping on a regular basis, it's important to talk to your doctor. Many people suffer from sleep disorders and don't even know it, and you may find a better night's sleep with the right treatment option.  

#3. Lack of Exercise

Depression makes you lose your motivation for just about everything and that includes exercise. Exercise is probably at the bottom of your priority list when you're feeling depressed, but it could also be the trigger that is causing your depression to get worse in the first place. Exercising regularly can make a huge different in your mental health because it helps to release endorphins, which are chemicals that provide natural pain relief and mood boosters. To enjoy the many benefits of exercise, you don't have to start an intensive workout routine with a personal trainer; simply going on a 30-minute walk a few times a week can make a huge difference.

#4. Alcohol

When you're feeling down, sipping on a drink can make you feel better, but if you suffer from depression, alcohol can be a slippery slope. Experts have found that depression is harder to treat in those who drink because, if you drink, you are less likely to actually stick with your treatment plan. Additionally, alcohol can interfere with many of the medications used to treat depression.

#5. Denial

The biggest barrier to getting the treatment you need for your depression is denying that your depression exists in the first place. If you're depressed, don't deny it — ask for help. When you're in need of senior housing in Elk Horn, turn to Salem Lutheran Homes & Rehabilitation Center to get the compassionate care you need. Contact us today to learn more.

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