By Laura Conant, Calumet Park Cemetery correspondent
Dealing with grief and sadness is never easy. As we age, life-changing events, like the death of a loved one, or health problems, and even retirement, increase the amount of grief we may be dealing with. Depression is not an automatic state as we age but it does increase after age 65. Grieving is a normal response to a loss but if it is constant and never-ending you may be heading into depression.
Depression is a medical illness and is nothing to be ashamed of. It does not mean that you’re “just not strong enough” or somehow lacking in faith. Being told to “snap out of it” or “just pull yourself up by your bootstraps” is impossible for the person to do and can cause harm.
Some of the warning signs of depression are: not beginning to feel even a little better as time passes, or emotions getting in the way of completing routine daily tasks such as bathing, brushing your hair, or even something as simple as eating.
A person suffering from depression may no longer take pleasure in their favorite activities and just want to be left alone. They could have delusions or hallucinations and feel bored or worthless. They may have a hard time concentrating or have a sudden onslaught of memory problems, or be confused. The biggest warning sign is mentioning suicide or not wanting to go on. Seek treatment from a doctor or therapist as soon as possible.
Medication can have side effects that cause depression. Speak with a doctor or pharmacist to make sure nothing you are on is causing the depression. Herbal remedies for treating depression are an excellent alternative to antidepressants. Consult with a natural healing practitioner or naturopath to see if this option is right for you. Depression is treatable and you can find joy in life again.
Call Calumet Park Funeral Chapel at 219-736-5840 for information on how you can attend the monthly group grief counseling session. This is a free program offered to help people through the struggles of living on after the loss of a loved one.