The A in AMD

I attended a seminar yesterday. This one actually gave us tables. Doesn’t sound like much but when you are balancing half a dozen things at one time, a table is a big thing.

That was six more credit hours. 12 down and 18 more to get in the next calendar year. Some of those can be home study.

A colleague gave me a web address for a company that sells continuing education training cheap. Since I was in student mode, I went on the site and downloaded several one credit hour courses.

(I said student mode, not martyr mode. Remember we AMD folks read more slowly now. If I can accomplish my goal – getting 30 continuing education hours – by ‘nibbling’ at them one hour at a time, I will. There is more than one way to skin a proverbial cat. There are no brownie points for doing things the hard way!)

Anyway, off track again but I thought it was a valid point. No one is going to ask how you got there, as long as you get there. Be kind to yourself.

Where I was REALLY going was to tell you I downloaded a presentation on depression in older people. [Lin/Linda: this was part of her course which is password protected so we don’t have access to it.] Now I know we are all 35 or less in our minds, but we also all know what the A in AMD stands for. This is not a condition for kids.

I actually read the article and answered the questions for my one hour of credit. The article said a lot of stuff we already know. Loss of sensory and physical functioning as well as personal/emotional loss and financial problems can all lead to depression. Been there? Done that? Got the t-shirt, huh?

It also gave some statistics I was not aware of.  Although the article (from Knowledge Informing Transformation) said depression is not a part of normal aging, it also said up to a quarter of seniors living in the community have depressive symptoms. Those numbers increase as living arrangement become more restrictive and as the people get older. In other words, if you think you are the only one suffering with depression, think again.

One of the big problems with depression is everything goes to hell right along with your mood. Depression in older people can lead to vague physical complaints, sleep disturbance, confusion, memory loss and agitation. Depression can lead to a significant reduction in the quality of life and even death. Health costs for depressed oldsters are twice those of non-depressed people of similar age.

So that is the bad news. The good news is it is possible to fight depression and win. 60 to 80% of older people see improvement with appropriate treatment.

In addition to finding a mental health profession you are comfortable with, I would just suggest you push back! Depression trying to take your positive attitude? Take it back through things like humor or altruism. Keeping you away from friends and support network? Call them! How about health and wellness? Make a date to walk with a friend. Cook a nourishing meal and actually eat it even if you have to choke it down. Fake it until you make it.

OK. Gotta get ready for bed. Remember good sleep is important too. G’night!

Next: a biochemistry lesson – not!

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