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.

@fiesty76

@dmho, Welcome to this forum and thank you for reaching out for help for your dad. Just wondering if your mom or you could call your dad's doc and explain how his symptoms are worsening? Quarantining is tough and changes routines for all of us who are isolating more. Would he be willing to have a phone conf. with his doc if suggested? Do you have permission to give and get information about him with his doc? Hope you'll continue to post here because there are many who understand and are willing to support you and your family during this troubling time.

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@feisty76. Good points

Liked by fiesty76

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Hello again, thank you for your reply and for sharing. That is precisely what I am afraid of, that he is being overmedicated or wrongly medicated which is not good at any age. I was astonished to see the amount of medicines that he is currently taking:
Citalopram 20mg, Alprazolam (Xanax) 1mg, Metformin 500gr (twice a day for his Type 2 Diabetes, Memantine 20mg, Bisoprolol Fumarate 2.5mg (for high blood pressure), and Aspirin 81mg
It has gotten so bad that the last time I spoke with him over the phone he scared me because he said he just wanted to die. I want to help my mom as much as possible as she is his caretaker, but we (my sisters and myself) live very far apart from them so we are only able to help from a distance until this whole pandemic is over. Again, thank you so much for reading 🙂

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@dmho

Hello everyone, I am new to the group and very happy to have found it. My father lives with anxiety and depression and is 76 years old. He had a late onset of these disorders and if he had symptoms earlier in his life we were all oblivious of it, I do remember him being extremely withdrawn, distrustful of people in general and very negative. I am finding out through my mom what he is taking in terms of medications but whatever it is it is not working and he is at an all time low at the moment quarentining at home. Thank you for reading, I don't really have anyone to talk to about his problem.

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Hi dmho, thank you for opening this conversation. I'm 67 & experiencing what your dad is. He's fortunate to have a caring family. My only family is my sister & she's 2,000 miles away.

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@cb772

Hi dmho, thank you for opening this conversation. I'm 67 & experiencing what your dad is. He's fortunate to have a caring family. My only family is my sister & she's 2,000 miles away.

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@dmho I am so sorry to hear that! Please feel free to reach out for support or opinions (only mine from my personal experience) and only for what it’s worth. You can private message me, too. We are here for each other, at least that’s my interpretation of what this forum is about.

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@dmho

Hello everyone, I am new to the group and very happy to have found it. My father lives with anxiety and depression and is 76 years old. He had a late onset of these disorders and if he had symptoms earlier in his life we were all oblivious of it, I do remember him being extremely withdrawn, distrustful of people in general and very negative. I am finding out through my mom what he is taking in terms of medications but whatever it is it is not working and he is at an all time low at the moment quarentining at home. Thank you for reading, I don't really have anyone to talk to about his problem.

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@dmho Welcome to connect we arent Dr,s but help with our own experience with your problem. Have you gone to a Dr about this? or your parents.? We are all isolated now with covid and feel some depression I cant address to how you feel as I dont have this but the loneliness is enough to be depressed . Does your Dad just get out doors into nature and listen to the sounds around him of life of birds and other animals smell the flowers does any of this help him to feel a bit better . I pray you will find something for your Dad as you are a very caring son I can tell. Hopefully you will receive some more information from others who can address this better then I can , Thoughts and prayers to you and yours.

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@dmho

Hello again, thank you for your reply and for sharing. That is precisely what I am afraid of, that he is being overmedicated or wrongly medicated which is not good at any age. I was astonished to see the amount of medicines that he is currently taking:
Citalopram 20mg, Alprazolam (Xanax) 1mg, Metformin 500gr (twice a day for his Type 2 Diabetes, Memantine 20mg, Bisoprolol Fumarate 2.5mg (for high blood pressure), and Aspirin 81mg
It has gotten so bad that the last time I spoke with him over the phone he scared me because he said he just wanted to die. I want to help my mom as much as possible as she is his caretaker, but we (my sisters and myself) live very far apart from them so we are only able to help from a distance until this whole pandemic is over. Again, thank you so much for reading 🙂

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@dmho Wow I didnt know he was on so many meds. Im late at responding as Im on the west coast.. If this will help you there is a website drugs.com that list the meds , interactions, and side effects of meds. The pharmacist can be of great help to you also about the meds .your Dad is on . Since you don't live close to him it may be of benefit for you to look up these drugs for interactions and side effects. His Dr should be aware of all his meds . also . Hope this helps

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@jakedduck1

@helenfrances
Hello,
I took Klonopin for seizures which wasn’t effective and successful symptom free taper off of it many years ago.
I asked you about your taper schedule only because doctors often decrease the dose faster than many patients can tolerate and many end up having withdrawl symptoms.
Have you been suffering any unpleasant withdrawl symptoms?
Jake

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Hi, Jake. Thank you for your post. I've been in a medication nightmare for a couple years. Everything was fine for years, but one pee test 2 years ago didn't register the Klonopin I was taking, 1 mg 3 x daily. My primary care doc freaked out & refused to prescribe it. I went thru 2-3 weeks of awful withdrawal & haven't felt good ever since. It's very important for anyone to reduce the dosage very slowly.

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@dmho

Hello again, thank you for your reply and for sharing. That is precisely what I am afraid of, that he is being overmedicated or wrongly medicated which is not good at any age. I was astonished to see the amount of medicines that he is currently taking:
Citalopram 20mg, Alprazolam (Xanax) 1mg, Metformin 500gr (twice a day for his Type 2 Diabetes, Memantine 20mg, Bisoprolol Fumarate 2.5mg (for high blood pressure), and Aspirin 81mg
It has gotten so bad that the last time I spoke with him over the phone he scared me because he said he just wanted to die. I want to help my mom as much as possible as she is his caretaker, but we (my sisters and myself) live very far apart from them so we are only able to help from a distance until this whole pandemic is over. Again, thank you so much for reading 🙂

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Hi @dmho, I add my welcome. I'm wondering if your father has multiple specialists or if he has one doctor who oversees and is aware of all his medications. For my mom and my aunt, we returned to their respective PCPs and reviewed all their medications to determine if all remained necessary. We also discussed how things were working, new symptoms and former symptoms that had disappeared as well as lifestyle changes they had made – activity level changes, diet and social changes. The result for both of them was an adjustment to their medications, doses and elimination or addition of medication and supporting vitamins and supplements.

We did this about 2 years ago, so the implications of COVID were not considered. Social and mental changes are much more acute these days and need to be considered.

Might it be possible for your mom and dad to arrange a consult with his doctor and you could join the consult by phone or video chat? More and more physicians are doing this even before COVID, but all the more now. Would your father be open to having you join a doctor visit by phone?

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@cb772

Hi, Jake. Thank you for your post. I've been in a medication nightmare for a couple years. Everything was fine for years, but one pee test 2 years ago didn't register the Klonopin I was taking, 1 mg 3 x daily. My primary care doc freaked out & refused to prescribe it. I went thru 2-3 weeks of awful withdrawal & haven't felt good ever since. It's very important for anyone to reduce the dosage very slowly.

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@cb772 You just can't make this stuff up! So you haven't been able to ever get a prescription for again?

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@cb772

Hi dmho, thank you for opening this conversation. I'm 67 & experiencing what your dad is. He's fortunate to have a caring family. My only family is my sister & she's 2,000 miles away.

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Hi,@cb772, The pandemic has created so many changes in our daily lives that what we would ordinarily do can sometimes become more difficult. I self quarantine and only go for some medical/dental appointments and grocery shopping every few weeks to a store that has a protected hour for seniors or those with more chronic health conditions.

For those of us who tend to be anxious under the best of times, changes that are taking place now can add to what I call "overload".
I find taking breaks from any media news helps and taking walks and spending more time on hobbies takes my mind off of what is troubling and puts the focus on the diversion.

I have lived alone for years and my only daughter and family live out-of-state. We stay in touch by phone and occasional Zoom times. It is not the same as being with them but it helps a great deal. Are you and your sister close? Do you talk frequently? Do you have friends or neighbors that you feel close enough to to talk about how life is going for you now?

I don't know your situation, medical limitations or how much you are able to connect with others but taking "virtual visits" on internet sites to beautiful parks, museums and places of interest have become a new occasional pastime for me. Do you have pastimes or hobbies or interests that you can devote more time to?

@dmho, From personal experience, I know physical distance from our loved ones makes efforts to help our family harder too. I'm wondering if both you and @cb772 might find more suggestions for help if you both also post on the Just Want to Talk Thread that is a part of the COVID-19 forum. Just having another place to share and connect with other understanding members has helped me and provided new ideas for approaching some issues.

Wishing you both the best and hope you will continue to post. Staying connected through the forums here has been a great boon for me.

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@dmho

Hello again, thank you for your reply and for sharing. That is precisely what I am afraid of, that he is being overmedicated or wrongly medicated which is not good at any age. I was astonished to see the amount of medicines that he is currently taking:
Citalopram 20mg, Alprazolam (Xanax) 1mg, Metformin 500gr (twice a day for his Type 2 Diabetes, Memantine 20mg, Bisoprolol Fumarate 2.5mg (for high blood pressure), and Aspirin 81mg
It has gotten so bad that the last time I spoke with him over the phone he scared me because he said he just wanted to die. I want to help my mom as much as possible as she is his caretaker, but we (my sisters and myself) live very far apart from them so we are only able to help from a distance until this whole pandemic is over. Again, thank you so much for reading 🙂

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@dmho, At 77 yrs and except for Metformin which didn't work for me, I am not familiar with the meds your dad is taking. I have multiple health issues so take more meds than those you listed for your dad and do know that sometimes meds can cause unwanted side effects. Could your mom or you arrange a telephone conference with your dad's prescribing doc if your dad is unwilling to go or call himself? Any mention of wanting to die is a definite plea for help and sounds like he may be experiencing deep depression. I am certainly not medically trained but my heart goes out to you and your family.

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@fiesty76

Hi,@cb772, The pandemic has created so many changes in our daily lives that what we would ordinarily do can sometimes become more difficult. I self quarantine and only go for some medical/dental appointments and grocery shopping every few weeks to a store that has a protected hour for seniors or those with more chronic health conditions.

For those of us who tend to be anxious under the best of times, changes that are taking place now can add to what I call "overload".
I find taking breaks from any media news helps and taking walks and spending more time on hobbies takes my mind off of what is troubling and puts the focus on the diversion.

I have lived alone for years and my only daughter and family live out-of-state. We stay in touch by phone and occasional Zoom times. It is not the same as being with them but it helps a great deal. Are you and your sister close? Do you talk frequently? Do you have friends or neighbors that you feel close enough to to talk about how life is going for you now?

I don't know your situation, medical limitations or how much you are able to connect with others but taking "virtual visits" on internet sites to beautiful parks, museums and places of interest have become a new occasional pastime for me. Do you have pastimes or hobbies or interests that you can devote more time to?

@dmho, From personal experience, I know physical distance from our loved ones makes efforts to help our family harder too. I'm wondering if both you and @cb772 might find more suggestions for help if you both also post on the Just Want to Talk Thread that is a part of the COVID-19 forum. Just having another place to share and connect with other understanding members has helped me and provided new ideas for approaching some issues.

Wishing you both the best and hope you will continue to post. Staying connected through the forums here has been a great boon for me.

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Hi, fiesty76: thank you for your response & for sharing your experiences. I have stepped back from news & watching political ads. I usually get my news from Stephen Colbert & Facebook. I'll take breaks from Facebook every so often. I am disabled in that my mobility is severely limited. I rarely leave my house. I wish I could go for walks or had an electric wheelchair so I could use it to walk my dogs. My hobbies are my 3 dogs, 1 cat, bearded dragon & Solcata tortoise, reading & watching TV. I do have some good friends here but we don't talk much. I'm ready to go home when the good Lord wants me. I'm tired of the stress of the election, feeling alone, feeling anxious about money, trying to find specialists who are near me or do telemed appts., frustrated with Medicate & Medicaid who keep denying me an electric or manual wheelchair. I'm tired of just existing & not living.

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@cb772

Hi, fiesty76: thank you for your response & for sharing your experiences. I have stepped back from news & watching political ads. I usually get my news from Stephen Colbert & Facebook. I'll take breaks from Facebook every so often. I am disabled in that my mobility is severely limited. I rarely leave my house. I wish I could go for walks or had an electric wheelchair so I could use it to walk my dogs. My hobbies are my 3 dogs, 1 cat, bearded dragon & Solcata tortoise, reading & watching TV. I do have some good friends here but we don't talk much. I'm ready to go home when the good Lord wants me. I'm tired of the stress of the election, feeling alone, feeling anxious about money, trying to find specialists who are near me or do telemed appts., frustrated with Medicate & Medicaid who keep denying me an electric or manual wheelchair. I'm tired of just existing & not living.

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@ cb72. I feel the same thing about living but I am not dealing with nearly half of what you are dealing with. My husband and fur baby give me a reason to be. Please keep posting. I would so like to get to know you better!

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@bustrbrwn22

@ cb72. I feel the same thing about living but I am not dealing with nearly half of what you are dealing with. My husband and fur baby give me a reason to be. Please keep posting. I would so like to get to know you better!

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bustrbrwn22, thank you for your response.

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@cb772

Hi, fiesty76: thank you for your response & for sharing your experiences. I have stepped back from news & watching political ads. I usually get my news from Stephen Colbert & Facebook. I'll take breaks from Facebook every so often. I am disabled in that my mobility is severely limited. I rarely leave my house. I wish I could go for walks or had an electric wheelchair so I could use it to walk my dogs. My hobbies are my 3 dogs, 1 cat, bearded dragon & Solcata tortoise, reading & watching TV. I do have some good friends here but we don't talk much. I'm ready to go home when the good Lord wants me. I'm tired of the stress of the election, feeling alone, feeling anxious about money, trying to find specialists who are near me or do telemed appts., frustrated with Medicate & Medicaid who keep denying me an electric or manual wheelchair. I'm tired of just existing & not living.

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@cb772, Limitations with mobility and lack of help from Medicare and Medicaid for a wheelchair would find most of us feeling discouraged. However, it sounds as though you have your hands full with plenty of smile producing antics from your fabulous and diverse pets.

My one kitty, Precious, is such a comfort. The other day on the phone with a friend, the friend asked if I could hear her kitty, Frieda, in the background "talking to her"…sure enough, the friend would ask Frieda a question and the cat would respond! This went on for several minutes…where is the video camera when needed??? It was really funny. Only time Precious "talks" is when she is reminding me it is dinnertime. lol

Do your dogs and cat get along together? One of my earlier dogs and cats became best friends and would cuddle together. I became fascinated with geckos (very small lizards) several years ago and made many a trip to the exotic pet shop to pick up an order of fruit flies for their meals. Do your pets have designated areas in which they stay or can they go wherever?

Something I started with my self-isolation was making a list of neighbors and friends and their phone numbers and giving them a quick "well baby" call. Not long in duration but they seem to appreciate being "checked in with" and the calls make me feel better too.

I live in west TX but have felt so badly for those in areas with hurricanes, flooding and wildfires. Do you live in area that is contending with those? My daughter and family live in Boulder, CO and for weeks, ashes from mountain fires miles away drifted down onto their front porch and she reports that there is still a haze in the air.

Had the nicest visit with another patient waiting in the dentist's office yesterday. In my age group…anyone past 65 qualifies!! lol I'm 77yrs and living alone as well. She commented that although she'd gone through a time of severe anxiety and depression several years ago and had feared that her self-restricting Covid measures would land her back in the earlier depression which she took meds for at the time, she was surprised to discover as the weeks, months passed that she was at more peace and accepting of her quarantine than most of the people she knew. I could have hugged her neck because my experience has been much the same.

Another action that helps me is jotting down a few gratitudes in a separate journal each day. I try to come up with new ones not mentioned before. Yesterday it was for a 4 slice toaster and Oster blender still frequently used and received as wedding gifts in 1965. Smiles

Television sit coms and reality shows are not my cup of tea; I must have a warped sense of humor. Instead I like "The Good Witch", "Rizzoli and Isles" and "Monk". I still watch reruns of Diagnosis Murder and Heat of the Night. Do you have favorite programs? PBS is my favorite channel because of their many good documentaries, nature programs and series to enjoy. What are some of your favorite tv programs? Do any of your pets watch with you?

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