Weekend Reading: Depression Isn't a 'Normal' Part of Aging — How to Treat and Prevent It

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading depression aging market watch thumbnail Weekend reading depression aging market watch thumbnail
Weekend Reading

Despite what many might believe, depression and aging don’t go hand-in-hand. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state 18.4 percent of Americans aged 65 and older suffer from some form of depression, which is less than the 21 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29. Read the article from Market Watch below.


Focusing forward: The reality is, older individuals are more capable of controlling emotions versus younger individuals. They tend to follow the “life is short” mantra and lean more toward positive aging because it always beats the alternative.

Warning signals: At the same time, older Americans that do experience depression usually also have a medical condition, and prescription drugs utilized to treat symptoms can make the situation worse. Signs of depression can also look different in someone elderly. While younger individuals tend to express a sense of worthlessness, older individuals do not. Instead, they might have trouble sleeping, withdraw from activities or show major changes in weight/appetite. In addition, older women are, in general, more likely to develop depression-like symptoms, but men suffer more severe forms.

Beat the blues: As you grow older, there are many ways to remain focused on the positive and brighten your mood. Four ways to do so include:

📌Accept your age, and accept you’re going to age

📌Begin cultivating what you want to do with the rest of your life (Your Purpose)

📌Make intergenerational connections, because having people who are younger in your life can create many positive impacts

📌Visit your physician regularly so a possible diagnosis of depression can be caught early

Prioritize your wellbeing: While I haven’t experienced depression personally, many whom I love have, causing me to recognize its seriousness, and the reality that it truly is an illness. If you or your loved ones are feeling a sense of depression, don’t sit idly by. There’s always something that can be done, and lives will literally be saved when action is taken.