It is common for people of all ages to go through seasons of good times and not so good times. Seniors often can be more depressed due to events such as the loss of a loved one or new/existing health issues. Over time, this grief can turn into more of a serious issue, such as depression. Whether you or someone you know is living with depression, it is important to know how to cope with it.
Signs of Depression
Depression can develop if someone is going through something tough and they do not know of different ways to cope with it. Here are some common symptoms of depression:
-Changes in sleep, appetite, and reduced energy levels
-Things never seem like they are going to get better
-You no longer enjoy things that you used to enjoy
-You have thoughts of death or suicide
How to Help Someone Who is Depressed
If a friend or family member is going through something tough, or if they feel more sad than normal, it is easy to feel helpless. It often makes people sad that they cannot help their loved one. Here are some ways to help:
-Listen. Sometimes all someone needs is someone to listen to them talk things out. Even if you cannot fix the problems they are experiencing, people appreciate a listening ear.
-Don’t try to act like you understand what they are going through. This can make someone feel like their feelings are minimized. Instead, maybe say “This must be so tough for you” or “I cannot imagine what you are going thorough”.
– Invite your loved one to do something relaxing. Even if they do not feel like it, encourage them to. Some relaxing ideas are going for a walk, having a movie night, or having a game night.
Vitamins Can Help
Good news! There are several key vitamins and nutrients that can help someone who is living with depression.
–Vitamin D– This one is commonly known as the “sunshine vitamin”. Sometimes, people notice that they are sadder during the winter months because of the lack of sunshine. Vitamin D can help to improve your mood and helps some people with depression symptoms.
-Sunshine- Speaking of vitamin D, studies have shown that direct sunshine can really improve your mood. If you are feeling down, try taking a walk or even sitting on your porch for a few minutes. The sunshine may help you to feel better!
–Vitamin B– This helps produce and control the chemicals in the brain that influence one’s mood. Low levels of vitamin B are often linked to depression. You can even get vitamin B in foods like meats, eggs, and dairy.
–Fish Oil– Fish oil is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which can help with depression. The suggested dosage of fish oil is 1,000 mg. Most vitamin stores sell fish oil.
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