Older Adults

Mental illness is not a normal part of aging. Experiencing sadness, grief, response to loss and temporary “blue” moods are normal. Persistent depression that significantly interferes with the skills of daily living and relationships is not.

Common Symptoms of Depression

  • Irritability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Confusion
  • Change in appetite
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Misuse of alcohol or medications
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Vague physical complaints
  • Trouble making decisions

Treatment

Over 80% of older adults diagnosed with depression can be effectively treated. See your healthcare provider if you’re concerned about depression or to rule out other medical conditions. Medications, talk therapy, education and support can help you feel better. A healthy diet, less stress, exercise, affirming relationships, activities you enjoy and a spiritual connection can also help.

NAMI Minnesota is helping to spread this message.

  • To request a presentation, training, or resources on older adults living with mental illnesses, please contact olderadults@namimn.org or  651-645-2948 x113.
  • Look for NAMI Minnesota’s Gray Matters classes, here.
  • Check out one of the following NAMI Minnesota fact sheets:

Depression in Older Persons

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)