Ageing: all in the mind

In her article, Ageing: all in the mind, written for YOURLifeChoices online magazine, Dr Harriet Radermacher outlined some techniques for coping with the ageing process. Several subscribers sent in follow-up questions, which Dr Radermacher has been kind enough to answer.

Ageing, all in the mind, Dr Harriet Radermacher, ageing process

In her article, Ageing: all in the mind, written for YOURLifeChoices online magazine, Dr Harriet Radermacher outlined some techniques for coping with the ageing process. Several subscribers sent in follow-up questions, which Dr Radermacher has been kind enough to answer.

Q: Tony

In your article you said we should watch out for ‘depressive symptoms’. You gave three examples – forgetfulness, restless sleep and loss of interest. I forget where I put my keys and sometimes I don’t sleep well, but I don’t think I am depressed. What else should I be on the lookout for in myself and my friends?

A. You’ve highlighted a good point. Many people experience signs and symptoms of depression and it does not necessarily mean you have depression. In fact, it would be unusual not to experience at least some of these signs and symptoms from time to time. The point at which it becomes concerning is if they occur more and more often and in combination. Some of the other common signs and symptoms include:

  • feeling sad most of the day
  • weight loss or gain (when not dieting)
  • slowed or fastened movements
  • tiredness or loss of energy
  • feeling worthless
  • difficulty concentrating
  • increased irritability and frustration
  • increased alcohol and drug use
  • thoughts of self-harm – or maybe just feeling over a period of time like your ‘cupboard’ of energy is emptying out faster than you can keep it stocked up

Organisations such as beyondblue can be a helpful resource for information about depression, what to be on the lookout for and where to get help – and in collaboration with the Council on the Ageing (COTA), it has developed a free national peer education program called beyond maturity blues.

For more information on beyond maturity blues, click on the COTA organisation in your state below:

COTA VIC
COTA NSW
COTA QLD
COTA SA
COTA TAS
COTA WA
COTA NT
COTA ACT

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