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pjss48 (@pjss48)

Depression and Anxiety at an older age

Depression & Anxiety | Last Active: May 23 3:38am | Replies (608)

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@pjss48 and everyone,

I suffered from depression, anxiety and panic attacks for most of my life. I used to take Lorazepam to control my anxiety and panic attacks only when they were particularly bad. About 6 years ago, I started taking Citalopram antidepressant. It took me a few months to realize that I was no longer having panic attacks or anxiety! I couldn't even take airplanes before due to my panic but now I really enjoy flying. Perhaps you can get DNA testing to determine if you are taking the antidepressant that will work best for you. I think I accidentally started on the best one for me.

Another thing that I recently started doing again is Yoga. I do a class that is specifically designed for seniors (I'm nearly 70). My very first session I felt so much better! I'm continuing to do weekly yoga and feel so much more energy when I'm done. I took yoga for about 10 years previously, but since I retired and moved 3 years ago, I haven't done it. I'm so happy I restarted it. The thing is, you can go at your own speed with Restorative Yoga or Hatha Yoga, as it's not a competition. Instead, it's a way to clear your mind and focus on the poses, your muscles, your breathing, and how to relax into the more difficult stretches and poses. I am much more active now that I've restarted.

I was feeling very lonely after my move to Southern California. My husband’s family is here and they're wonderful, but they all live far from us. I've also found that I can't talk about certain things that break the unwritten "code of silence." I am immediately "put down" by the matriarch when I do. So, I decided to check out the local Senior Center, which is where I found the yoga class. I've also been very active in support of my candidates of choice for the November election which has led to my meeting other people my age. As a result of both these new activities, I am making new friends. Two women from the yoga class have talked me into going to the watercolor class and the oil painting class. These have no costs associated (except for buying the supplies on my own), and sound good. There is also a chorus that meets and I'm thinking of joining it as well. A few months ago I wanted to do these things, but I was nervous about being judged for not being great at any of them. Since I started yoga, I'm no longer nervous about participating. I even had a very good lunch there last week for only $3.00. They serve seniors every weekday, which saves lots of $$, especially in California. I met more nice people there who told me how I can get "no cost" yoga through Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage because they allow you to go to LA Fitness classes everyday of the week! I'm changing my Medicare program in October to Kaiser. I also learned that some of the community colleges around my city allow seniors to attend some classes for free!

What I'm trying to say is that by venturing out of my house and working on political campaigns and taking one yoga class, a whole world of activity choices and new potential friends opened for me. I am an extrovert, so sitting at home just saps me of life energy; I get depressed and start dying on the vine. I like and need to be around others with whom I can talk and interact. Perhaps if you have a community center close they may have programs that are attractive to you and will encourage you to find ways to get out. My downs always go away when I'm interacting with others–and taking my antidepressant.

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Replies to "@pjss48 and everyone, I suffered from depression, anxiety and panic attacks for most of my life...."

Gail, what dose of Escitalopram is working for you?

I am an older lady of 73 and have been tapering off diazepam for several months which I was prescribed 10 months ago at 4 mgs. for severe anxiety. I am now down to 2.3mgs of diazepam and it my anxiety is 10 times worse, plus severe agoraphobia, no appetite weight loss and depression. I think I need an antidepressant to finish my taper and to treat the anxiety condition which has gone untreated up to now. I seen you had success with citalopram as I did a few years ago but am worried to take it because of the start up. However I would like to know if it worth tolerating to get my life back as I have none at all now and am so low at this point living in fear all the time. I also want desperately to get rid of the diazepam, which I am tapering at a very slow rate, but cannot progress without something to help with the crippling anxiety. Can you help me?

Citalopram and escitalopram both helped with my anxiety. However, I stopped taking them because I read about SSRI's possibly contributing to bone loss and dementia; both are concerns of mine. Do you know which class of meds is safe for someone with osteoporosis and brain fog?