No Brainer

I have not been able to get my act together all weekend. I have had low motivation and not a lot interests me. Depressed? Not exactly.

To ‘fess up’, I must admit what I have been doing all weekend is listening to an audiobook. I have been sort of ‘into’ Kellerman’s The Golem of Paris which I discovered is actually the second in a series. Now I have to listen to the first one!

My head has been full of the legend of the Golem of Prague and the Book of Enoch (weird, I know, but I kid you not. They are integral parts of the story line.) But what if my head were full of worries and hopelessness and dread?

I would not, by a long shot, be alone. PsychiatryAdvisor reports 57.2% of older people with vision impairment have depression. That is up from 43.5% of older people without vision loss. If those numbers are accurate, half of you folks are depressed. Crap. This is not good!

Some of this will be a recap, but I like to think it bears repeating. For example, I want to repeat gradual vision loss or loss in one eye but not the other is very anxiety producing! Where do you think the saying “waiting for the other shoe to drop” came from? Waiting for something bad to happen ain’t good.

Then there is the interaction between loss of everyday competence from vision loss combined with the loss of everyday competence from age-related cognitive decline. There is a one, two punch! Facing loss of independence from that combo is depressing.

This combo leads me right back to what I have preached and preached and preached some more. Exercise helps to keep you sharp. Learning and using low vision strategies and technology helps to keep you competent. Sharp, competent people keep their independence. Independent people are less likely to become depressed. End of lecture once again.

The second installment of the article starts with what I consider to be a ‘no brainer’. To wit, if you can save your vision, you can help save your mental health. Like I said, no brainer. Go for your shots. Investigate changes in your vision immediately. Hard to get more basic than this.

Next the article talked about using your low vision skills and technology and a little thing called behavioral activation. What behavioral activation basically is is getting back into life. Too bad transportation is a pain in your sweet, little tushie. If it gets you to your activities – even an hour and a half early – use it. Swallow your pride and ask for a ride. Remember Cabaret? “What good is sitting alone in your room?” Good for depression! Instead,”go taste the wine! Go hear the band!” I bet Liza Minnelli never realized she was a behavioral activation therapist?.

There are several paragraphs on what psychotropic medications NOT to use when you are depressed. I think those deserve more research and their own page. For here, just remember, question your doctor about the vision side effects of EVERY medication you are prescribed. You are your own best advocate.

OK, I have nagged you enough for one page. What did mother say? “I only do it for your own good.” Me, I’m going back to my book. Did you ever hear of the Golem of Prague?

written August 27th, 2017

Next: VIP Etiquette Book

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