Category: Depression Treatment In Florida

a woman looking stressed out with her hand on her head

Depression in the Later Years of Life

Unfortunately, it’s an all too common belief that depression is a more or less natural part of aging. After all, as we get older, we must face an increasing number of problems. Health problems, reduced income, and the death of a partner or loved one are just some of the tragedies and difficulties often faced among those who are older in age. Because of this, it may not be surprising that so many older adults suffer from depression. Medical News Today reports that: “around 7 million American adults aged 65 and older experience some form of depression.” However, even more surprising is that depression among seniors often goes overlooked and untreated.

Depression is Not a “Normal Part” of Aging

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, depression is frequently considered to be a normal part of aging, particularly for older adults. Stephen Bartels, director of the Centers for Health and Aging at Dartmouth College at Hanover, NH, explains to The Washington Post: “The public thinks, ‘Well, if I was losing my ability to walk or losing my vision or hearing or people that I love, that it’s normal to be depressed when you get older,’ and that’s just not true.”

In fact, a Mental Health America survey of adults aged 65 and older revealed that only 38% of seniors believe depression is a health problem, while the remaining 58% believe that it is normal to become depressed in old age. Because of this, the majority of older adults with depression do not seek nor receive treatment for the condition.

It’s worth noting that left untreated, depression can raise the risk of other health conditions and severely impact the quality of life. Certain depressive symptoms can also put individuals at increased risk of suicide. Considering this, it becomes even more alarming to realize that suicide rates in the US are highest among adults aged 75 and older. To put things in perspective, this accounts for 16.3 per 100,000 people when compared with 11.3 suicides per 100,000 people in the general US population.

The Real Causes of Later Life Depression

Stressful and emotional situations experienced later in life can take an enormous toll on one’s mental health. Widowhood is most common in older age, and a third of widows meet the criteria for clinical depression within a month of their spouse’s death. Of this number, 50% of these widows remain clinically depressed a year later. In addition to this, health problems common in older age such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and Parkinson’s, can also increase the risk for depression later in life.

Changes in daily life and environment can also be difficult, like the experience of retirement. Retirement activist Robert Laura explained to Forbes last year: “Work creates self-worth, physical and mental exercise, friendship, and sense of belonging.” The absence of this can lead to the development of depression, as well as the loss of the relationships established within the professional setting, since many adults do not translate their friendships within the workplace to personal ones, thus losing valuable social interaction once they retire.

It is well established that adults who lose social interaction are more likely to develop depression. A study published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, led by Dr. Alan Teo, assistant professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University, discovered that older adults who rarely see their family and friends are almost twice as likely to develop depression. This risk remains even when seniors have contact with friends and relatives over the phone or through written communication.

However, as Medical News Today reports: “The risk of depression in later life, however, is not solely dependent on life changes and stressful situations. People who have immediate family members with depression may be at greater risk for developing the condition themselves, and certain medications – such as drugs to treat hypertension – can raise depression risk.” Moreover, if an individual has experienced depression earlier in life they are at increased risk to experience it again, later in life.

Depression is Treatable Even with Aging

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC: “Depression is a true and treatable medical condition, not a normal part of aging.” As such, both the CDC and the National Institute on Aging recommend that older individuals experiencing symptoms of depression seek treatment immediately. They state: “Don’t ignore the warning signs. If left untreated, serious depression may lead to suicide. Listen carefully if someone of any age complains about being depressed or says people don’t care. That person may really be asking for help.”

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of depression it is important to seek help. When treated, depression can become manageable. However, it should not be assumed to be simply a “natural” part of aging any more than it can be assumed that it is a natural part of life. Preparing for later life changes and maintaining regular in-person contact helps reduce the risk of depression as one gets older, in addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise. Of the possibility of overcoming depression, the NIA state: “Remember, with treatment, most people will begin to feel better. Expect your mood to improve slowly. Feeling better takes time. But, it can happen.”

Eight Ways Negative Thinking Can Impact Your life

We’ve all experienced our fair share of confidence highs and lows due to negative thinking. Some days may just seem easier than others. However, although it’s perfectly to experience changes in how we feel, some of us may find ourselves settling into a pattern of negative thinking more than others. This can not only be unhealthy, but can heavily contribute to our overall unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life. In fact, those who continually adopt a negative worldview will often find themselves not only unhappier, but chronically so. While there are a number of factors that can contribute to a negative mindset, including legitimate medical conditions like depression, some of us have merely taken to adopting a self-defeating and deprecating mindset. In other words, we allow ourselves to become our own worst enemies, rather than best friends.

How Negativite Thinking Can Impact Your Life

Negative attitudes can make the difference between someone who is confident versus someone who is self-loathing; someone who is optimistic versus someone who is pessimistic; or someone who sees themselves as in control versus someone who continually believes themselves to be a victim of the world around them. To reverse these attitudes, it’s important to address and reverse the negative thought processes that both form and feed them. Here, we will address 5 common negative thought processes of chronically unhappy people and, in doing so, we’ll examine how we can change these thought processes to improve not only our own happiness and well-being, but our overall quality of life.

1. Negative Assumptions

This is one of the most prevailing forms of negative thinking. This is when we automatically assume a situation to be negative, even if that may not actually be the case. Unfortunately, for many people this pessimism may be habitual and automatic. However, many situations are not inherently positive or negative, but rather are neutral, and it is our perspectives that shape them. The way we choose to relate to our experiences can make them either positive or negative.

 Take a rainy day for example, some of us might brush this off as an inconvenience, while others may see rain as beautiful and peaceful. Others, however, might view rain as something that negatively impacts their entire day. Regardless if they made plans or not, those who adopt a negative outlook may think of rain as ruining any chances they might have had to have fun that day. Perhaps they even think that they are personally victimized by the bad weather, seeing it as a sign of their own bad luck in life.

However, in most cases, this mindset is a choice, one which can instantly make us feel stronger or weaker; happier or sadder. In the case of a rainy day, it might be better to look at it as an opportunity to spend some quality time with ourselves or others indoors and get cozy, rather than being a terrible obstacle to our own happiness. It all depends on how we relate to the moment and what perspective we choose to adopt.

2. Self-Defeating Talk

Self-defeating talk refers to the messages that we use to reduce ourselves and our self-confidence. Such talk can lower our performance and our overall potential, because we don’t believe that we have the ability to succeed or do well. Common forms of self-defeating talk include the phrases “I can’t…” or “I’m not good enough…” or “I’m going to fail…” It’s unfair to make judgments on oneself without giving ourselves the opportunity to try in the first place. To put this in better perspective, consider if these words came from a “friend”. Would you consider someone who continually told you you can’t do things, or that you’re not good enough a friend? Probably not. So why accept these phrases from yourself? After all, we owe it to ourselves to be our own best friends, so just as we wouldn’t accept such negative feedback from outsiders, neither should we accept it from ourselves.

3. Getting Stuck in the Past

It’s important to learn from our past so that we don’t make the same mistakes in the present or future. However, there is a big difference between learning from the past and getting stuck in it. Those of us with a chronically negative mindset will often find ourselves wallowing on past personal setbacks and negative circumstances. Doing so prevents us from moving forward or growing as individuals. We can’t change what’s already happened, but we can control our present and decide our future. To do so, we have to remind ourselves that it is us who is incharge, not our history. Quoting the Wall Street Journal, professor Preston Ni reminds us that “Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections, failed twice in business and suffered a nervous breakdown before he became the president of the United States.” This in mind, focus not on the choices you’ve made in the past, but the choices you can make now. Moving on is an important first step to moving forward.

4. Comparing Ourselves with Others

Many of us are guilty of falling in with this negative mindset, but it can be highly toxic. As easy as it may be, we shouldn’t compare ourselves with others, especially if we’re depicting ourselves unfavorably in the comparison. While it may be tempting to look at others who appear to be more accomplished or successful than ourselves, we have to remember that success is relative. We each have our own successes and achievements that we can and should be proud of, even if they’re not identical to those of others. Negative social comparisons can lead to increased rates of anxiety, depression, stress, and making self-defeating choices. So rather than expending energy in acknowledging what we don’t have, to become happier and more satisfied with our lives we should appreciate what we do have and focus our energy in pursuing goals we have not yet achieved in a healthy and positive manner free from the negative clutches of envy.

5. Fear of Failure and Making Mistakes

Whether we like to acknowledge this or not, making mistakes is a necessary part of the learning process. Moreover, it’s a necessary and fundamental part of being human. While constant, repetitive mistakes can be attributed to not learning from our choices and actions, most often, mistakes are a sign of adapting to unfamiliar challenges and situations. We all need to stumble and fall before we learn to walk or run. The important thing, however, is to remember to get up afterwards. Oftentimes, the fear of failure or making mistakes is due to a tremendous amount of pressure one places on oneself to succeed. While setting high standards can be a good motivational tool, expecting perfection from all situations and outcomes not only takes the joy out of life, but can also lead to high amounts of stress and anxiety when we realize that our expectations aren’t exactly realistic. To be happy is to learn how to brace one’s humanity, flaws and all. Rather than thinking of mistakes as failure, they should be seen as a necessary stepping stone on the way to greater success.

florida coastal landscape scene

Walking Off Depression – Looking to Nature to Improve Within

It’s no secret that we could all probably benefit from going outside and getting some fresh air from time to time. Unfortunately, as we get older, we often grow more sedentary. Many of us may become residents of our couches and living rooms. But new studies show that regular access to nature can actually improve the quality of life in older adults. This is because nature is an excellent place to “get away from it all”, and spending some time with nature has been shown to promote physical, mental, and even spiritual well-being for many adults. While this has long been suspected, research conducted by a student from the University of Minnesota with a research team in Vancouver, B.C. seems to support this claim.

How Nature Affects Well-Being

This study, titled “Therapeutic landscapes and wellbeing later in life: impacts of blue and green spaces for older adults”, was published in the journal Heath and Place which showcases research which examines the relationship between health, healthcare, and location. This study in particular revealed that blue and green spaces tend to promote feelings of renewal, restoration, and spiritual connectedness in older adults. Such spaces also provided a venue for social engagement, including planned activities with friends and family as well as random encounters across generations.

Jessica Finlay, a lead author on the paper and former research assistant on the project notes that:

“Accessibility to everyday green and blue spaces encourages seniors to simply get out the door. This in turn motivates them to be active physically, spiritually and socially, which can offset chronic illness, disability and isolation.”

In other words, contact with the outdoors in a way disrupts the sedentary and mundane lifestyle of older adults by providing them with a new environment to engage with outside the home, one with proven physical and psychological benefits and various external stimuli to keep them mentally active.

Going Outdoors Daily Can Improve Mental Health

The implementation of more natural spaces for people, both old and young, to engage in can be relatively simple. Smaller features like a bench facing flowers, a garden, or a koi pond, can be utilized by urban planners and act as a natural resource for older adults to feel at peace whilst simultaneously being stimulated outside of the home. In fact, a study published by the US National Library of  Medicine seems to support these claims. Titled “Going outdoors daily predicts long-term functional and health benefits among ambulatory older people”, the study reveals that “Participants going out daily at age 70 reported significantly fewer new complaints at age 77 of musculoskeletal pain, sleep problems, urinary incontinence, and decline in activities of daily living (ADLs). Logistic regression analysis indicated that not going out daily at age 70 was predictive of subsequent dependence in ADL, poor self-rated health, and urinary incontinence at age 77.”

Finlay claims that after observing the daily life of several seniors aged 65 to 86, she discovered:

“how a relatively mundane experience, such as hearing the sound of water or a bee buzzing among flowers, can have a tremendous impact on overall health.”

External sensory stimuli is incredibly important in combating not only boredom but also potentially remedy feelings of helplessness, loneliness, or advanced mental regression. Discussing Finlay and the research team in Vancouver’s findings, Medical News Today reports that “While younger generations may use green and blue spaces more to escape and rejuvenate from their busy work life, our participants used nature to be active physically, spiritually, and socially in later life…Natural environments enable older adults to uphold daily structure in retirement and provide opportunities for diverse activities outside the home. This is important to quality of later life by decreasing boredom, isolation, and loneliness; as well as boosting one’s sense of purpose and accomplishment.”

They also note the blue spaces in particular are especially good locations for physiotherapy and non-weight bearing activity like wading, swimming, and walking in water. Not to mention, waterfront environments are typically very relaxing spaces and this relaxing nature is also highly beneficial physically, mentally, and spiritually. However, both blue and green spaces provide many excellent opportunities for exercise and relaxation among older adults. Concluding her research, Finlay argues that “While our research may seem intuitive, it creates conversations on how to build communities that serve people across their entire lifetime. We don’t just need a playground for children, we also need sheltered benches for the grandparents to watch them… it gives credence to some small but significant elements of everyday later life. Hopefully it will help urban planners and developers build communities that span a lifetime.” These communities will benefit not only older adults but people of all ages as natural spaces are being incorporated into otherwise urban settings devoid of these environmental escapes.

Take A Step Outdoors and Breath In the Air

That being said, it’s important to remember but sometimes easily forgotten that the health and well-being of older adults is just as significant as that of younger ones. This research shows us that as we get older it’s important to remain socialized and to develop a balance between our indoor and outdoor activity. The latter helps enhance mental and physical health. Nature acts as an ideal space for older adults to stimulate their bodies and minds through exercise and both planned and spontaneous interaction. Because of this, its important to incorporate the outdoors into one’s daily regimen, especially as we age. Fresh air and sunshine will do you more good than you may think.

individual therapy at boca raton

Five Ways You Can Help Yourself Treat Depression

If you struggle with depression, you know exactly how hard it is to do the things you would normally do – like get out of bed and take an interest in the activities of your daily life.  Some days are better than others, but once you start to get help for your condition, you are going to be better off.  Taking that first step of asking for help can be incredibly difficult, but you will be better for it.  Once you begin to treat depression, you will need to learn to navigate the waters of your life.  There are some things that you can do to help yourself get through each day and start to feel a little more like yourself again.

1. Focus On the People Who Love You

You have friends or family or both who care about you and want to see you succeed in your battle against depression. When you are finding it hard to be present, they notice.  It is likely that they understand, but if you make the time to focus on the people who love you the most, they will continue to be there when you need their love and support.  Try to cut down on distractions during the time you spend with your loved ones so that you can be as present as possible.

2. Take Your Medication to Treat Depression

If your doctor has prescribed some kind of anti-depressant to you, there is likely a need for it. Like most other medication takers, when you start to feel better, you may want to stop taking it.  This is a completely normal thing to feel, but it does not work for anti-depressants.  The only time you should stop taking your medication is if you have spoken to your doctor about it first.

3. Keep Goals Small and Realistic

Setting small goals can be very important. When you take a big goal and break it into smaller parts, it can give you a sense of accomplishment and a sense that you are working toward something.  Keeping your goals realistic can give you the same things.  You have to make your goals something that you can actually undertake.  Creating unrealistic goals can serve to make you feel like you are overwhelmed and sinking.  Small, realistic goals are a real morale boost.

4. Give Back

Depression can sometimes turn a person toward doing mostly things that are self-centered rather than others-centered. Taking a little bit of time to give back and focus on what you can do for others can go a long way toward your healing.  You can give back in very simple ways like saying something nice to one of your family members or buying coffee for a co-worker.  Giving back could also be a bigger volunteer effort like helping at a soup kitchen, an afterschool program, or a food bank.  Volunteering is a great way to connect with people and a great way to get out of your own head and start making a difference in the lives of other people.

5. Exercise

Whether you have depression or not, exercise is one of the best things that you can do for your mind and your body. Not only does exercise keep your body healthy, but it also keeps your mind fresh and your organs functioning properly.  Taking a walk outside can give you the time and space to think and process some of your emotions.  It is also good for getting that dose of Vitamin D that so many of us are lacking in our daily lives.

You are not going to be 100 percent successful all of the time.  You are not going to be able to be perfect and win the battle every day.  But the best you can do is fight each day and rejoice in the wins.  Be happy when each day you can wake up and try again.  You can keep going, and you can keep fighting.  Let go of days when you are not as successful as you want to be and hold tight to days when you are more successful than you think you can be.

Depression is a battle that you can win. To begin the journey, contact us today.

Coping With Holiday Depression In A Healthy Way

With the passing of Thanksgiving comes the beginning of this holiday season.  By the end of this week, the holiday season will be about halfway through.  Many people have difficulty during this time of year.  There are as many reasons for people to have trouble with the holiday season as there are people.  Anything can make it difficult.  And one of the things that usually does not make it easier to deal with is when others do not understand how hard it can be, why it is hard, or remind you that you can get over your holiday depression by just being grateful for the things that you have.

Practicing Gratitude

Gratitude is, in theory, an easy concept to grasp.  Gratitude is all about acknowledging all of the things that you have in your life and having an extra appreciation of them.  Gratitude is actually really hard to have.  As a species, humans are hard-wired to fixate on the bad things because the bad things could be a threat.  Good is something that can be glanced over because it is not a threat to survival.  However, as conscious beings, it is possible to move past our biology.

Holiday depression is often one of the times that feels the bleakest.  The weather is darker and the air is generally colder so more people are staying indoors.  Even in those times when you feel like everything is falling apart, and your life will never be good again, it is usually possible to find something to be grateful for.

 What You Can Do To Combat Holiday Depression

Take some time to try an experiment.  Take a few minutes each day to write down one or two for which you can be grateful.  Starting small is the key.  There is no reason to find fake things that you feel like you should be grateful for, but you are not really.  Find things that are truly good even if they are small.  Think about things that can and do make you happy.  They do not need to be great big things that will change the world or effect your whole life.  Small things to be grateful for could be being able to get out of bed in the morning, a cup of your favorite tea, or your dog.  You could be grateful for a sunny day, the good mood of the teller at the bank, or missing a really long red light on your way to work.

Even if you are experiencing holiday depression, there are things for which you can be grateful.  If some of your depression stems from not being able to be with friends or family, or not having people to share your holiday with, you could be grateful for the freedom that you are afforded or the peace that comes with solitude.  If the whole holiday experience is too much for you, you can be grateful that it is a relatively short season.  If you are missing loved ones who have passed away, you can be grateful for the good times you had and that there are others who know how you are feeling.

At the end of a week, go back and read over the things that have made you happy that week.  Then move on.  Do the same for another week.  It is possible that after that second week, you will find yourself looking for ways to be grateful and passing that positive energy on to others.  You might find that you generally start to feel better about the state of your life.  You might even start making plans to yourself feeling good and effecting positive change in your own life.

It is possible for acts of gratitude to really change your life.  When you start to recognize the good things in your life, no matter how small, you may be able to start finding more and more things that you can be grateful for.  The Law of Attraction says that like speaks to and attracts like means that when you look for the good things you will attract more good things.  It may seem difficult at first to find the things in your life for which you are grateful.  Like almost anything else, it is likely going to feel like yet another chore you have to do.  But as you progress, it will get easier, and you will find that gratitude starts to come naturally.

Finding Depression Treatment In Florida

When someone is suffering from depression it is important to get help.  Fortunately there are many options for depression treatment in Florida and several ways to find help.  You can ask your family doctor, a therapist you know, work colleagues, or even friends.

Asking your family doctor for a recommendation to help you find depression treatment in Florida can be a good option.  Hopefully, your family doctor has known you for a while and has your best interest in mind.  He or she me know of several options in your community where you can obtain depression treatment in Florida.

A therapist can be a good source as well.  Most therapists know others in their community.  They will likely know several people that can provide depression treatment in Florida.  Additionally, the more they know you the more likely they are to be able to make a recommendation that would be the best fit for you.

Work colleagues can be a good source to help you find depression treatment in Florida.  However, this can be a bit tricky and embarrassing for many people.  If the work colleague is a good friend this is much easier, but if they are not it is tougher, but not impossible to obtain the information.  A good way to go about this is explaining to them you have a good “friend” or “relative” that needs depression treatment in Florida and you are asking around to see if anyone has a good recommendation for treatment.

Asking a friend for recommendations is a great way to find depression treatment in Florida.  Surprisingly many people have at one point or another in their lives sought help from a mental health professional or knows of someone who has.

Lastly, ask all four sources listed above and do some research on your own, using the Internet and such.  You will get the best recommendation from doing it this way.  A general rule of thumb is that the more people recommend the same person or group as “the best” the more likely they will be helpful to you and the more likely this will bring your quest for depression treatment in Florida to an end.

Here at Proliance Center our team of professionals have a lot of experience with this and we are here to help.  Give us a call today.

A male and female interlocking hands in what appears to be a strong, happy relationship.

Building Communication with Relationship Therapy

Most couples will argue from time to time. For the most part, this is normal behavior, because loving someone doesn’t necessarily …

Man sitting on couch holding hands over his face as his partner walks away angrily.

The Five Stages of Ending a Long-Term Relationship

Sometimes relationships just aren’t meant to be. Love has plenty of ups and downs, but increasing negativity can be a sign …

Vintage photo of a peaceful, beautiful nature scene with river and trees.

Smell The Roses: The Benefits of Nature Therapy

With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and responsibilities, it can be hard to remember to take time to “stop and …