There will be times in your life when your world changes and the controls you had over your own life are diminished in some way. Your goal, your survival technique, is to change yourself to make whatever life throws at you, not a stumbling block, but a threshold to the next part of your life.
This is the reason depression is so prevalent in our senior generations. When any of us, young or old, has an illness or injury that changes our life, there is a slow realization that things will never be the same. Let me give an example. I went back to college late in life. I was in my last semester and it was winter in Ohio. I was rearranging some things in one of the children’s rooms and as I picked up a midsize cabinet, a particle board one foot by two foot fell out crushing and shattering the entire bone of my great toe. Not only was the pain intense but I knew within moments my life was going to change, at least for a while. I finished out the semester with two surgeries and using crutches in the snow with a large book bag on my back. The incident ended my ability to do many things. But transfer that experience to someone who is in their 80s or 90s and have the injury be a hip or a shoulder and their life changes are serious. Pain, immobility, and isolation are three of the challenges that you may experience. All of those challenges together bring on fear which leads to depression because the solutions are not readily apparent.
I asked a person who had experienced a life changing accident if he had depression. He stated he had never been one to be depressed. He then paused and said, “I have felt down since the accident and the slow recovery is not as quick as I had hoped.” I leaned forward and looked him in the eye. “That is the depression, I am speaking of.” Depression slips quietly into our lives. When you lose control of your activities, your daily ability to move, eat, walk, be pain-free, and get back to your “normal”, the sadness you feel is depression. It is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to everyone and if someone tells you they are not affected by these things then they are lying to you and themselves.
Depression can be slight or severe. It can last for a short time or months or more. It is be a sad feeling or a crippling feeling. Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how we feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Depression is characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite. You may experience all or part of the above symptoms.
The following are the words from written by John Denver. Read them carefully.
- Usually in the morning I'm filled with sweet belonging and everything is beautiful to see.
Even when it's raining, the sound of heaven singing is simply joyful music to me.
But sometimes I feel like a sad song, like I'm all alone without you.
So many different places, a million smiling faces, life is so incredible to me.
Sometimes I feel like a sad song, like I'm all alone without you.
I know that life goes on just perfectly and everything is just the way that it should be.
Still there are times when my heart feels like breaking and anywhere is where I'd rather be.
I want someone to share with and someone I can care with
and that is why I wanted you to know.
Sometimes I feel like a sad song, like I'm all alone without you, without you.
Find a friend to talk to. Talk with your doctor or your health coach. Just talk. Let others in on your sadness. They can listen, hold you and help you.