Our friends at Florida Blue Medicare have put together the below information to help you understand more about the signs of depression, and the steps you can take to get help.
Almost 7 million adults over age 65 experience depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And feeling sad isn’t the only symptom. There are many other symptoms that can interfere with your daily life and ability to function.
What Is Depression?
Depression affects how you feel, think and act. It’s more than just having a bad day. Depression can affect anyone. Signs may include:
- Feeling sad
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Eating too much or too little
- Feeling worthless or hopeless
- Lack of energy
- Thinking about suicide or death
- Expecting the worst
- Decreased interest in activities and hobbies
- Withdrawing from family and friends
Should I Talk to Someone?
If any of these signs seem familiar to you, be sure to let your doctor know. Talk to someone. Help is available. You don’t have to feel this way. Also, remember this is a much more common problem than you think. So don’t worry about asking for help. If you feel strange talking to your doctor about your feelings, consider this: Depression can make some health problems you have worse. So treating your depression not only helps you feel better mentally, it could help you feel better physically, too.
Although millions of adults over age 65 experience depression, only 10 percent of those adults are treated for it. Depression is often misdiagnosed in older adults because they may be less likely to talk to doctors about how they feel.
Depression is very treatable through effective counseling and/or medication. Changing your lifestyle, sleep schedule, eating habits and physical activity could make a difference, too.
There are many different types of depression that vary in severity, so getting an accurate diagnosis from a licensed professional is key to identifying the appropriate treatment. The right treatment can get you back to feeling like yourself.
Take a Step to Learn More
Your Medicare health plan includes mental health coverage. Florida Blue works with New Directions to offer you behavioral health resources. Learn more about your symptoms and find support tools by visiting the New Directions Resource page on ndbh.com. You can also call 1-866-287-9569, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. TTY users, call 1-800-955-8770.