3 Strategies To Help The Elderly Fight Seasonal Depression

January 4, 2018

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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rates of depression in elderly people can range from 3% to 13.5%. Many experts say that the winter months can often worsen depression, especially for senior citizens. In fact, one in five Americans is vulnerable to winter depression. But by taking advantage of some thoughtful strategies, you can take control of seasonal depression and make the most of every day. Here are just a few ways to help seniors fight seasonal depression symptoms, also known as seasonal effective disorder.

Prioritize Sunlight
One aspect of winter that can easily cause the blues are the short days and lack of daylight. This isn't just because sunlight is associated with happiness; rather, direct exposure to sunlight helps the body produce Vitamin D, which can help the body naturally fight depression. Without exposure to sunlight, we are much more likely to fall into depressive moods.

Combat this by keeping blinds and shades open during the day, and if possible, go for a short walk or sit outside if you can tolerate the temperature. Even a few minutes more of direct sunlight each day can make a major difference in your mood and overall quality of life. If you're looking for something a bit convenient, consult a free health clinic or other urgent care facilities to hear about light therapy boxes or vitamin supplements, alternative ways to get some more light in your life.

Stay Social
It can be difficult to muster the energy to merely get out of bed, let alone meeting up with a friend. Still, you can do a lot for your mental health by meeting up with a friend to chat every so often. If you can't physically meet up, a phone call or video call are effective alternatives as well. Oftentimes, simply hearing the voice of another human being can soothe the soul and help you feel more connected to the world that surrounds you.

Consider Antidepressants
Many people think of taking antidepressants as unnatural or unnecessary, but they can drastically help to balance out the serotonin levels in your brain and moderate your mood. They aren't the only solution, of course, but they can help work in tandem with these other strategies to kick your seasonal depression to the curb. If you're interested in hearing more about this option, consult a Denver urgent care facility or community health clinic.

Ultimately, seasonal depression can sometimes feel like an endless weight to bear on your shoulders, but with some work, it can be addressed and treated like the valid health concern that it is. For more information about urgent care facilities and other walk in health clinics, contact AFC/Doctors Express.

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