Depression and Addiction Therapy for Seniors
The special problems associated with aging can lead to depression for many people. In fact, depression is a common condition in the elderly that often goes unnoticed, undiagnosed and untreated. This prevents seniors from getting the help they need to end this debilitating condition and continue to live healthy, happy, productive lives.
Similarly, seniors are susceptible to addiction to prescription drugs as a result of depression or other causes. Often addiction and depression occur together; when these two conditions occur simultaneously, they are known as co-occurring disorders.
Seniors and Depression
Many aspects in the lives of the elderly can contribute to depression. If left untreated depression can rob people of their energy and vitality, induce or aggravate physical complaints and medical problems and even lead to thoughts of suicide. Aspects of aging that can contribute to depression include the following:
- Increased isolation and loneliness
- The deaths of friends, family members and even cherished pets
- Illness or medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Decreased mobility
- Failing senses, decreased vision and hearing
- Decreased cognitive ability
- Fear or anxiety of death
- Anxiety about health or financial issues
Additionally, depression can be a side effect of prescription drugs commonly used to treat the elderly. Older patients are more sensitive to the side effects of drugs since their bodies do not metabolize medications as efficiently as they did when they were younger. Tranquilizers, sleeping pills, pain killers, blood pressure medication, heart medication, ulcer medication, beta-blockers, estrogen and Parkinson’s medication can all cause or aggravate depression.
Seniors and Addiction
Seniors can easily become addicted to prescription medications such as painkillers or tranquilizers, especially when used for extended periods due to a chronic condition. Seniors may also seek escape from depression, anxiety or chronic pain through use of illicit drugs or alcohol, which will ultimately increase depression.
Depression and Addiction as Co-occurring Disorders
Depression and addiction often occur together. One may cause the other; depression can be a side effect of addiction and addiction can be a result of depression. Furthermore, they are often mutually reinforcing, meaning that depression can increase the desire to escape through drug use, and increased drug use in turn can aggravate depression.
Treatment for Depression and Addiction for Seniors
Integrated treatment treats addiction and any underlying, root causes as well as any co-occurring disorders such as depression. Integrated treatment will help you overcome any addiction you are experiencing as well as the debilitating condition of depression. It allows you to thrive and enjoy life in your golden years.
If you have any questions about treatment for depression and addiction for seniors, or if you would like help finding treatment options, call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline today.