This book deals with anxiety and depression with people who are over fifty years old. Many seniors end up on medication for depression and/or anxiety when lifestyle changes may be a better treatment. Some seniors will need medications, but Dr. Rabins believes that drugs are sometimes the first line of treatment instead of the last and advocates for looking at the whole picture.
Read this review of his book that I have broken down into three parts. Hopefully, this will help someone. Then get the book and read it completely, it is excellent reading if you want to keep healthy mentally.
This is a wonderful book about
depression and anxiety as we grow older.
You should find a copy and read the whole book,
it will be worth it.
Part 1: Anxiety
Anxiety over the three most common areas of worry for seniors (loss of money, health, and mind) can and does most of the time bring on depression. There is a normal level of anxiety that is not a problem, but when it affects how a person functions it is a serious problem and must be dealt with.
Three warning signs that symptoms may signal an anxiety disorder:
1. Persistent - Unable to let go after a reasonable length of time, feelings thoughts, dreams, etc., of a life event. The event may have been a death in their family, a violent act, or a trauma. They can't move on and persist in re-living the negative event to the point where it affects their normal activities. Persistent negative thoughts.
2. Excessive - The person becomes overwhelmed by everyday activities. Worries of car crashes, plane crashes, food poisoning, etc., prevents the person from enjoying a vacation or trip to visit family. Excessive worry.
3. Life Altering - Negative changes in a person's everyday functioning. For example: loves to sew, but suddenly stops and may even pack sewing materials for storage; loves to cook, then suddenly only eats junk or quick food; normally sleeps well through the night, then suddenly begins to wake up several times or wakes up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. Life altering changes.
These symptoms may not be related to this syndrome, but maybe another illness. However, these symptoms should not be ignored.
Anxiety disorders can affect anyone at any age, but they increase in probability as we get older. This disorder is often (with a few exceptions) lifelong in duration.
There are specific tests to evaluate and diagnose this disorder. Tests range from asking a few questions, blood tests, electrocardiograms, to various scales such as the Hamilton Scale, Beck Anxiety Inventory Scale, and other self rated scales.
Testing is important because some other medical conditions can appear to be anxiety when in fact it is a thyroid problem, hypoglycemia, heart problems, just to name a few. Great care needs to be used when diagnosing this disorder. If left untreated it can lead to serious mental decline. However, if treated for this disorder when it is actually your thyroid can be equally dangerous.
What causes anxiety disorders as we age? Many things contribute. For example a devastating life event early in life can cause anxiety to occur to the disorder level later in life. Some of those events could be a rape, a soldier's PTSD, emotional abuse as a child, etc. While the person may recover quickly, as they age, those feelings may reappear - especially if the person is fearful of death and knows age is bringing them closer to it.
The fear of death can increase as we age. While some people are able to accept this inevitable event, others fear it, and attempt to find ways to ignore it or run from it. Age brings the reality of death close to us.
Other studies indicate that anxiety sufferers have an over sensitivity of the brain receptor;s for the chemical neurotransmitters norepinephrine ( a form of adrenaline), serotonin, and GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid).
This is a complicated disorder to diagnose and treat, but is essential to our well-being as we get older. Mental decline is a devastating experience. This book is about avoiding, preventing, and repairing mental decline as we age.
Mental decline is not a sure thing as we get older. There are things that can be done to stop it or prevent it from happening in the first place.
(We will review Part 2: Depression and Part 3: Conclusions in the next two book review posts.)
Do you know of someone over 50 whose demonstrates some of these symptoms? Do you have some of these symptoms? Has this brief review of Part 1 helped you in any way? Please share your thoughts.