At times, aging naturally has ups and downs; it is a normal part of life. But when feeling down becomes constant and seriously impacts your quality of life and mental wellness, this is when things may begin to shift into depression.
Current statistics estimate that around 6 million Americans over the age of 65 struggle with depression. But unfortunately, only a small percentage of those people seek treatment. Depression often has a stigma associated with it, but it really shouldn’t. Feeling down is completely normal at times, and by seeking professional assistance, you can access the vibrant life you deserve as you continue to age.
The Connection Between Age and Depression
Recent research has shown a connection between the natural aging process, physical health changes, and depression. In older age, depression has a different impact than it does when you are younger. Depression is often accompanied by physical illness or disabilities and may last longer. There are also many physical health impacts that can arise due to mental health issues. Given these greater risks, it is even more important to address depression in older age and improve your overall wellness.
4 Ways to Improve Your Mental Wellness as You Get Older
Socialize with Friends and Family
One of the main factors to depression in old age is isolation and loneliness. Many older adults report feeling cut off from family, and bearing the loss of friends over time can have a significant impact on happiness. Depression is healed through co-regulation of the nervous system and reminding yourself that you are not alone. There are still many ways to engage socially in old age through your local senior center, clubs, or by giving a call to an old friend.
Engage in Regular Physical Activity
Regular exercise is not only important for strength and balance, but it is also a wonderful way to improve your mental wellness. Physical activity has been shown to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve memory. So, try joining your local gym to take part in some of the many group fitness classes or even just take a walk around your neighborhood to get some light, enjoyable exercise into your day.
Find a New Hobby
As you enter retirement age, many of the activities that previously took up your day may now leave you with ample time and little idea of what to do with it. To add adventure to your life and keep your mind engaged is to find a new hobby or activity. Whether you choose to join a weekly chess club, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or go back to school, it is important that you find an activity that brings you joy. The more mental and emotional engagement you have as you get older, the better your overall mental wellness.
Explore Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
One of the current leading treatments for depression is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This drug-free and non-invasive treatment method is highly revered as an effective way to find relief from the debilitating impacts of depression. Talk to your doctor today about this possibility, or reach out to us at Eastside TMS and Wellness Center for more information!