Anxiety disorders affect as many as 1 out of every 10 senior citizens.
The most common anxiety disorders are a social anxiety disorder, PTSD, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. Almost 3 out of 10 have symptoms of anxiety but not enough to actually declare it a disorder.
That’s just anxiety. Depression is another issue seniors face. It’s estimated that almost 3 out of 10 seniors are clinically depressed, and more than 3 out of 10 feel depressed from time to time.
Both conditions make it very easy to want to withdraw from others. Anxiety can make you feel like your dying or going crazy. Depression ensures you lose your enthusiasm for things you once enjoyed. When your dad has both of these mental health issues, it can seem impossible to have good days or feel happy about much of anything. The problem is that loneliness and isolation can make anxiety and depression worse, and the mental health issues can make you want to be isolated from others. It becomes a problematic cycle.
Signs of Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression share some of the same symptoms. Both can affect your sleep patterns. They can lead to appetite changes. They can change how active you are with others and by yourself at home.
-Depression has you feeling down for weeks. It’s not just every now and then. You don’t have any energy. You move slower and have a hard time concentrating. You may feel completely worthless and ashamed.
-Anxiety has several symptoms depending on the type of anxiety. People with panic disorder may feel the heart start beating fast. With that can come chest pain, nausea, diarrhea, feeling faint, and difficulty breathing. Generalized anxiety disorder can make you feel exhausted, tense, and shaky, plus unexplained headaches and muscle pain may start up.
-OCD tends to make someone feel out of control unless certain things are done. For example, someone with OCD may not be able to sleep unless a ritual like washing hands twice, checking window locks, and drinking exactly 4 ounces of water is completed prior to going into the bedroom.
Do You Suspect Your Dad Has Either of These Conditions?
If you think your dad may have anxiety or depression and is isolating himself, arrange a doctor’s appointment. Mental health may be easy to brush off, so don’t let his doctor convince you it’s fine if you know something is wrong. Ask for a referral to a mental health specialist.
Once you know, make sure your dad takes any medications or attends therapy sessions. If you can’t drive him due to your work schedule, call a home care agency and ask about caregivers. They can arrange appointments and get your dad to them on time. Home care can help your dad in many other ways. Make the call and start helping him feel better.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Bridgewater, MA, call the caring staff at Rivers of Hope today at 508-857-0629. Providing Independent, Dependent, and Companion Care Services in Brockton, Boston, Braintree, Avon Randolph, Abington, and the surrounding areas. riversofhopes.com