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Clinical depression in your 80s - any tips/advice?

(5 Posts)
susanverity Mon 18-Apr-22 04:23:02

My Mum (aged 82) has been diagnosed with clinical depression. It seems to have developed fairly quickly although there were signs of anxiety for the few months leading up to it. She shows no care for her appearance (hasn't worn a bra in months, no make-up, not bothered about clothes etc...), has forgotten her important passwords, no interest in using phone or social media, eating and drinking have become an issue and she has lost 3.5 stone. Please can anyone help with advice/support? She is now on medication but we're awaiting any counselling on the NHS. My Dad (89) understandably finding it very hard. Thanks very much in advance!

BlueBelle Mon 18-Apr-22 05:24:09

What a worry for you
If she’s lost three and a half stone in a few months there may be more than depression involved I would insist on some tests being done and if it does turn out to be depression please do not wait for NHS counselling there are usually years of waiting lists they are badly over prescribed I know it expensive to pay for your own counselling but unfortunately if you need help with less than a year or more in some areas it is the only way
I hope you find some answers it sounds very worrying

BigBertha1 Mon 18-Apr-22 05:43:48

Sadly depression is not unusual in in the elderly and not well recognised and managed. You poor Mum sounds very unwell you must be very worried. There is a long wait for councelling. I would try some of the charities to see if they have anything to offer. I hope she picks up soon.

grannyactivist Mon 18-Apr-22 05:48:32

This sounds very, very similar to what’s been happening to a dear friend of mine who is thankfully just beginning to respond to Citalopram. She is now beginning to eat again and is starting to show an interest in things, but it’s taken a very long time a) to persuade her to see her GP, b) to work out the correct dose of medication, and c) for it to begin to work.

It has been a dreadful worry and we are still of a mind that this is also the early stages of dementia, but she is now sleeping less and engaging more with friends and family.

susanverity Mon 18-Apr-22 08:30:22

Thank you all so much. Yes good idea. I've contacted Age UK and am taking that further, plus looking at private counselling too. Mum has had various tests for physical issues but all have come back negative. Yes it's been a long haul with my Mum too. First of all she wouldn't take any medication, then finally took some and it's not agreed with her (bad side effects) so now trying to talk to psychiatrist/doctor about changing to a different one but in the meantime she's in hospital due to dehydration as not been eating and drinking well. I'm very interested to know that depression can be very common amongst the elderly? It seems so sad to me that she's suffering depression in what could be the last years of her life, when she should be making the most of us all getting back to normal after pandemic.