JOPLIN, MO-- It can be all too easy to get a case of the blues during the holidays, and older Americans can be even more susceptible.
"To some degree it's common year round. But it's more common during holiday times, birthdays, anniversaries." And Freeman Geriatrician Henry Petry says that's especially true for older patients. "We may have some forgetfulness. 'Oh, my goodness, I have forgot...' 'Am I developing Alzheimer's Disease?' Something that's really bad and I don't want to have to deal with it right now. And this is another reason why some people commit suicide."
Symptoms of holiday depression can cover a wide range. Petry explains, "Sleeping too much. Not sleeping enough. You could have some increased irritability. You may have extreme fatigue. And I'm not just talking about 'I'm tired.' Extreme fatigue. Along with that you can have some loss of memory."
Petry recommends seeking professional help. At the Freeman Geriatric Center, they run a battery of tests and have several options for treatment. "After we've done that we can select to do a combination of both therapy and medication."