“Holiday Depression in aging loved ones”
By Connie De La Rosa
During the holidays, we often thing of joyful times with family and friends but some of our elders, it can be a time of sadness, isolation and loneliness. “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is prevalent during the holidays and winter season due to issues such as being confined indoors, missing loved ones or chronic illness/pain” states Heidi Johnson, MFT Intern of psychological services in Oxnard.
Mrs. Johnson states that depression in the elderly looks different than the younger generations as it can mask itself as health related issues which often causes the depression to go on untreated. For example, symptoms such as decreased or no appetite, sleep disturbances, incontinence, chronic pain, memory loss/confusion, mood disturbances and fatigue, loss of self worth, increased use of alcohol/drugs and fixation on death. Diabetes and urinary tract infections may also be signs; however, please consult with your primary physician.
What to do when someone is in imminent danger?
Ventura County Crisis Team is 1-866-998-2243
Call 911 for emergency services
Go to nearest hospital emergency room
Call National Suicide Hotline toll-free, 1-800-273-8255 or TTY 1-800-799-4889
Call your doctor
If they are not in imminent danger, acknowledge and offer to work together in
seeking assistance for treatment. There are Community mental health centers that can provide treatment on ability to pay. For more information, call 200-7756.