As people grow and change throughout the different stage of their lives, so do their signs of depression. The commonly thought of signs, such as feeling sad or hopeless, can appear in people experiencing depression in every age group, but there are additional signs to lookout for in family and loved ones.
Children – some tell-tale signs in children can be a loss of interest in previously loved activities, difficulty with family members, problems at school (including socializing), and changes in diet or weight.
Teenagers – teens may exhibit the same signs as children, but more unique to this age group are prolonged mood changes, lashing out, problems with friends, sleeping or eating too much, feelings of worthlessness, or self-harm and substance abuse.
Young adults (19 – 29) – young adults often show signs of depression based on the triggers that drive depression. From relationship issues to major life changes, and navigating environments that are new and often without support the may have previously had, it is not surprising that the percentage of adults who experience symptoms of depression is highest in young adults.
Midlife adults (30 – 69) – Midlife adults exhibit what are thought to be “typical” signs of depression, such as persistent feelings of emptiness, sadness, and bodily/cognitive changes that last over two weeks. Some signs that are unique to this age group though can include anger or violence and alcohol abuse.
Older adults (70+) – older adults tend to experience more social isolation and death of loved ones, which can be a trigger for depression in this age group. Also unique to this group can be difficulty sleeping and aches and pains.
People diagnosed with depression can face stigma such as negative stereotypes and discrimination, as well as barriers in mental health that can inhibit care. Seeking and receiving help is crucial – for more information and additional resources, please visit the Anxiety & Depression Association of America’s website: https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/depression-across-lifespan-depression-and-its