Home Depression Does Depression Worsen with Age?

Does Depression Worsen with Age?

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hello. I have suffered from depression for about 15 years, but right now I am experiencing symptoms I have never had before. I’ve always felt the emptiness, the numbness, fatigue and often the suicidal ideation (more often than I care to elaborate on).

But now my depression is either changing or worsening. These new symptoms include disliking the light; I’d rather sit in a dark room alone. I’m not enjoying anything, but it’s much worse than what it used to be. I can’t concentrate, I can’t get sleepy when I go to bed (even if it’s late) and then I wake up very early even though I’m not rested, then I’m tired during the day.

I’ve been on the same medications for five years and have successfully held down two full time jobs for four years. Why is this now just starting to happen?

Does depression worsen with age? I thought it got better with age.

I haven;’t had any traumatic life events happen, nothing has changed except for the nature and severity of my symptoms.

Thank you for your help.

Some people report having a similar experience. What used to work for them suddenly seems to no longer work.

It may be that over time certain medications lose their effectiveness or there could be biochemical changes that occur with age. It is important to report your symptoms to your prescribing physician so that he or she may make the necessary adjustments.

You have had depression for 15 years. That’s a long time. If your only source of treatment has been medication, it might not be enough. You should consider counseling. There is no better treatment to promote mental health. Everyone possesses a certain degree of mental health just as they possess a certain degree of physical health. Some are very healthy and some are not very healthy. Counseling will, with the choice of the correct therapist, increase your level of mental health from wherever it is now.

Comprehensive treatments for depression often involve both medication and counseling. You might be missing a key element of treatment, which might explain why you’ve had depression for a decade and a half. Counseling could help a great deal. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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