Friday, June 24, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found

*Includes FREE photo online! mywcn.com/lostandfound

VideoLost: Yellow Maine Coon named Felix, missing since May 22 from F.M. 536, Floresville. Call if found, 210-365-6305.

VideoLost: Lab/Pit, missing evening of Mon., June 6, between 5-8 p.m., from Shannon Ridge Subdivision, Floresville, his name is Buster. Call 210-331-8966 if found.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

*Fair Housing notice. All help wanted advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Fair Housing Act which makes it illegal to advertise "any preference limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention, to make any such preference limitation or discrimination." This newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for help wanted ads, which is in violation of the law. Our readers are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis.
Golden Chick - La Vernia is hiring an Assistant Manager with at least 1 year experience for the evening shift. Apply in person on Thursday mornings. 
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

Savvy Senior


Recognizing and getting help for depression




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story

Disclaimer:
Jim Miller is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Jim Miller
September 19, 2012 | 1,734 views | Post a comment

Dear Savvy Senior,

Where can I find help for depression? My husband, who’s 68, has become lethargic and very irritable over the past year, and I’m concerned that he’s depressed.

Worried Wife

Dear Worried,

Depression is unfortunately a widespread problem among U.S. seniors, affecting approximately 15 percent of the 65-and-older population. Here’s what you should know, along with some tips and resources for screening and treatments.

Recognizing Depression

Everyone feels sad or gets the blues now and then, but when these feelings linger more than a few weeks, it may be depression. Depression is a real illness that affects mood, feelings, behavior, and physical health, and contrary to what many people believe, it’s not a normal part of aging or a personal weakness, but it is very treatable.

It’s also important to know that depression is not just sadness. In many seniors it can manifest as apathy, irritability, or problems with memory or concentration without the depressed mood.

To help you get some insight on the seriousness of your husband’s problem, here’s a rundown of the warning signs to be vigilant of.

•A persistent feeling of sadness.

•A lost interest in hobbies or activities that were previously enjoyed.

•Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or hopelessness.

•Trouble concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.

•Feeling anxious, restless, or irritable.

•Loss of energy or motivation.

•Inability to sleep or sleeping too much.

•Not eating or eating too much.

•Thoughts about dying or suicide.

A good resource for identifying depression is Mental Health America, a national nonprofit organization that offers a free online depression screening test at depression-screening.org. This test takes just a few minutes to take and can help determine the severity of your husband’s problem.

There’s also National Depression Screening Day which is coming up on Oct. 11. Sponsored by Screening for Mental Health, this is a completely free service that provides depression screenings by mental health professionals at hundreds of locations across the country. The test takes less than 15 minutes to complete, and is available to people of all ages. To find a site near you, visit helpyourselfhelpothers.org.

Also be aware that Medicare now covers annual depression screenings as part of their free Welcome to Medicare visit for new beneficiaries, and free annual wellness visits thereafter.

Get Help

If your husband is suffering from depressive symptoms, he needs to see his doctor for a medical evaluation to rule out possible medical causes. Some medications, for example, can produce side effects that mimic depressive symptoms -- pain and sleeping meds are common culprits. It’s also important to distinguish between depression and dementia, which can share some of the same symptoms.

If he’s diagnosed with depression, there are a variety of treatment options, including talk therapy, antidepressant medications, or a combination of both.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a particularly effective type of talk therapy which helps patients recognize and change destructive thinking patterns that lead to negative feelings. For help finding a therapist who’s trained in CBT, ask your doctor for a referral, check your local yellow pages under “counseling” or “psychologists,” or check with the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (abct.org) or the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (academyofct.org).

Another treatment worth mentioning is a relatively new procedure called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This FDA-approved treatment uses a small electromagnet placed on the scalp right behind the left forehead, and delivers a tiny electric current to the part of the brain linked to depression. TMS is currently available in about 420 psychiatrist offices around the country (see neurostartms.com) and is very effective for older patients.

Savvy tip: The National Institute of Mental Health offers a variety of free publications on depression that you can order at infocenter.nimh.nih.gov, or call 1-866-615-6464.

Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC “Today” show and author of The Savvy Senior book. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org.
 
‹ Previous Blog Entry
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Savvy Senior Archives


Resource Links savvy senior
Savvy Senior blog bio side
Heavenly Touch homeVoncille Bielefeld homeTriple R DC ExpertsAllstate & McBride Realty

  Copyright © 2007-2016 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.