There was a point of time when depression was not heard of much, and people who were depressed were just referred to as having a spell of the “blues”. However, in recent times, depression has become a very real problem and more people than are generally recognized to be afflicted with this condition, are really sufferers.

Hormonal fluctuations and the general biological and emotional makeup of a woman often lead to the signs of depression to be higher in women than in men. While some people contend that it is just that women tend to talk more about their feelings and hence are known to be more depressed, it is not to be negated that the symptoms of depression in women can be debilitating and greatly impact the functioning of a woman's regular life.

Identifying Depression In Older Women
Clinical depression in the elderly is more common than many people might realize. Older women around the world experience depressive symptoms and life stressful events apart from hormonal changes in later life can be major contributors. Just as with other symptoms of depression in women, older women too experience most of these symptoms, and it should be known that these symptoms are not a natural part of aging.

In older women, the death of a spouse, retirement, chronic illness, the effects of old age and stressful life events in general, apart from menopause-related mood changes, may be evident. There is also the additional risk of depression in older women, which is contributed by certain medicines that need to be taken life-long, living alone or isolation, fear of death as they grow older, chronic or severe pain and damage to body image especially after surgery.

The sign of depression in older women include some of the following symptoms:

  1. Insomnia.
  2. Feelings of hopelessness especially when they are unable to carry out their usual activities because of less energy levels.
  3. Mood swings and tearfulness.
  4. Feelings of tension and anxiety.
  5. Feeling out of control.
  6. Panic attacks.
  7. Disinterest in daily activities and relationships.
  8. Extreme fatigue or low energy.
  9. Recurrent symptoms of illnesses that do not respond to medical treatment.
  10. The illusion of having a serious illness and being on one's death-bed.
  11. Hallucinations.
  12. The feeling of being unwanted and hated by everyone.

As with other symptoms of depression in women, these signs of depression in older women can be handled with the right social support and probably medical intervention if required. In some cases, depression in older women could be clinical and due to other existing illnesses due to advancing age.

Identifying depression and getting the right help is essential, irrespective of whether you are the sufferer or whether your loved one is suffering the ravages of depression. Irrespective of age, it is vital to know that the fight against depression is never hopeless and can be successfully combated with the right help from the right sources.

There are a number of programs and therapies focused on helping older people deal with the signs of depression and coming off successful. These, apart from a will to get past this, have proven to help many depressed older women the world over.