Depression and Anxiety at an older age

Posted by pjss48 @pjss48, Sep 14, 2018

I am a 70 year old woman who has had depression and anxiety for a long time. It got worse 3 years ago when my husband lost one of his jobs. I panicked and my anxiety increased. I was afraid to do things. like driving. I have arthritis pretty bad and foot problems. I’m a Christian and my faith has helped me. My husband was a pastor and our church closed 3 months ago. We’ve had continual stress. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself during the day. I’ve gotten help from several doctors, including a psychiatrist. I also have IBS. I am better. I’m taking trazadone duloxetine, remeron and xanax. Also on osteo biflex, probiotic , bentyl and celebrex. I want to get on Sam e but it may interact with one of my meds. Thanks for listening.

THERE IS A SUGGESTION IN THE 12 STEP PROGRAM I ATTEND. { JUST TRY TO DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING } SOMETIMES THAT WILL HELP YOU FEEL JUST A LITTLE BETTER. KEEP THAT UP EVEN IF YOU MAY NOT WANT TO. GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND KEEP IN MIND THAT GOD IS WITH YOU WHETHER YOU THINK HE IS OR NOT.

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@pjss48

I'm new too. I have depression and anxiety problems, as wrl as serious arthritis in my knees back and bone spur in my shoulder. It's frustrating to know what medicine is the best. Today I'm feeling like I don't have much reason for living, not knowing what to do. I haven't done much. I'm trying to work up to taking a shower.

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Hi, @pjss48 – I'm really glad you've become a part of Mayo Clinic Connect. I'm sorry to hear you are having depression and anxiety problems and that you've felt this week like you don't have much reason for living. That is very hard. I think you will find members very supportive here.

I'm hoping @ainsleigh @mimi3blessings @parus @hopeful33250 @llnd2sey @mattie and others may have some thoughts for you about potential medicines and how they may have managed days when they felt like you mentioned, just trying to work up to taking a shower.

How are you feeling today, @pjss48?

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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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@parus

I was so happy to read your recent post about accepting yourself just as you are, and as you are not. That is the definition of love you know. I was wondering if you have ever thought of volunteering to be an "emeritus" art instructor at a senior center? I don't know if your pain levels will allow you to do that, or if you would even enjoy it. I know you have said you're an intrvert, so it might not be for you. I would love to have you as an instructor as you are such a talented artist. Anyway, a thought I wanted to share with you.

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Thanks to all of you for your encouragement.

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The best thing for me is to do my own thing. Way too much of an introvert as well as highly sensitive. I could not even teach school because of who I am. I like people, but being a part of something social is not for me. There are no senior type things and BINGO is NOT my thing. I have tried and there are too many I cannot handle. Being old with depression and anxiety is hard. Trying to volunteer is not an option either. I have settled into my little woman's cave and allow the world go by outside. I do not even enjoy the grocery store as I once did. Just hurt too much to play the game.

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I’m sorry that things are so hard for you. I understand about staying to yourself and not wanting to do anything or go anywhere. I spent 2-3 years that way. I’m finally on the right medication and life is starting to open up for me again. I’ve been getting out more and socializing. I still like being at home and the quiet times but I am getting out more. What meds have you tried and what are you taking? I hope today is a good one for you!

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@pjss48: I’m 73 and have been posting for some time about my issues with anxiety. I recently started on Lexapro – 10 mg – and I do feel better. But I still occasionally get spells of sudden-onset anxiety and nausea lasting about a minute. I’m a type A personality and truly believe that catches up with you in later years. I have much more trouble handling stress than I did a decade or two ago.
So I take my Lexapro and try to remember these attacks likely won’t kill me. I deep breathe and turn my thoughts to a peaceful place. I empathize with you and want you to know you are not alone.

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Is there anyone else that allergies contribute to depression?

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@annedodrill44

@pjss48: I’m 73 and have been posting for some time about my issues with anxiety. I recently started on Lexapro – 10 mg – and I do feel better. But I still occasionally get spells of sudden-onset anxiety and nausea lasting about a minute. I’m a type A personality and truly believe that catches up with you in later years. I have much more trouble handling stress than I did a decade or two ago.
So I take my Lexapro and try to remember these attacks likely won’t kill me. I deep breathe and turn my thoughts to a peaceful place. I empathize with you and want you to know you are not alone.

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Hello @annedodrill44 I am glad to hear that you are feeling better. Thank you for posting encouraging information.

@pjss48 How you are feeling these days? Have you found some ways to fill in the day time hours that give you a sense of fulfillment?

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I play games on my phone, do stretches with Sit and Be Fit, watch tv, clean what I can, go on an errand if needed.

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@pjss48

Karen thanks for your interest in my post. You have a lot to deal with. I hope knowing we have similar challenges and can talk to each other helps. Have a good night. God bless. Peggy

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@pjss48. Hi Peggy, how are you? Let me know-write back….Karen

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@gailb

@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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Gail, what dose of Escitalopram is working for you?

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@parus

The best thing for me is to do my own thing. Way too much of an introvert as well as highly sensitive. I could not even teach school because of who I am. I like people, but being a part of something social is not for me. There are no senior type things and BINGO is NOT my thing. I have tried and there are too many I cannot handle. Being old with depression and anxiety is hard. Trying to volunteer is not an option either. I have settled into my little woman's cave and allow the world go by outside. I do not even enjoy the grocery store as I once did. Just hurt too much to play the game.

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Paris, I am sorry you are suffering and wish I could offer successful suggestions. I’ll be at Mayo in early March to specifically address anxiety. I’ll pass on any helpful advice I receive. Hang in there in the meantime!

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as a man of faith god can and will help you through anything he never gives us more than we can handle. also i know i say it easier said than done. i how ever suffer from anxiety as well.always turn to your faith . i was reading you dont know what to do with yourself during the day. add more of god back into your day

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