Empowerment Series Update on Depression and Anxiety

For those of you who missed out, Deb Toal did an awesome job presenting at last week’s Senior Empowerment Series! Deb still works PRN on our team at GolderCare and her expertise in dementia and mental health is very much appreciated. Deb referenced the DSM 5 as she covered the topic of Anxiety and Depression. She reminded early detection is so very important. We all may feel depressed or anxious at times, but it is important to recognize when symptoms present beyond what is normal and outside assistance is warranted. I wanted to share a few of her thoughts, as well as some excellent resource links listed below.

What is Depression opposed to the “blues or normal grief”?

Everybody get the blues sometimes, those sad feelings which are inherent with life. Blues lasts days versus depression which can last two weeks or longer.

Symptoms of Depression:

  • Sad, blue, depressed

  • Lasting more than two weeks

  • Change in sleep, appetite, weight (without trying)

  • Fatigue, agitation, irritability or slowed motor moments, may cry easily, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, poor concentration, memory issues, indecisive, reoccurring thought of death or suicide

Different Types of Depression:


  • Predominate feeling of emptiness and loss

  • [endif]Comes in waves

  • [endif]Connected with thoughts and reminders of the deceased (loss)

  • [endif]Maybe accompanied by positive emotions uncharacteristic of sadness of depression

What is anxiety?

[endif]Good” anxiety - example is anxiety you experience getting ready for big event or race.

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

  • [endif]Excessive anxiety and worry more days than not - at least 6 months duration

  • [endif]Can’t control worry

  • Restlessness, feeling keyed up or tied up, easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, sleep disturbance

[endif]Risk factors for developing Depression or Anxiety

  • Disease

  • Medication

  • Chemical imbalance

  • Genetics

  • Environment


  • Talk therapy with trained professional

  • Medication

  • Self-help (nutrition exercise social spiritual)

  • How to help a loved one

Websites for further information on anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns:

GoodTherapy.org --- anxiety https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/anxiety

Depression https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/depression

National Alliance on Mental Illness https://www.nami.org/Learn-More

National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/index.shtml

Medline Plus https://medlineplus.gov/healthtopics.html