Depression and Alzheimer’s Disease

One of the common side-effects of Alzheimer’s disease is depression. In fact, approximately 40% of Alzheimer’s sufferers also suffer from depression. It becomes difficult to diagnose depression because some of the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s are similar to the symptoms associated with depression. Here are just a few signs to look out for if you are concerned about your loved one and depression.

Loss of Interest or Apathy
This is typically the most prevalent sign of depression for someone with or without Alzheimer’s who is being diagnosed for depression. Not wanting to interact or participate in things a sufferer once loved can be a symptom of Alzheimer’s, it is more powerfully associated with depression. In order to assess the situation, suggest an activity once enjoyed by your loved one and observe their reaction. Learn to be in tune with their responses and their levels of lack of interest. It could also help to ask why.

While crying may or may not occur when someone is depressed, it is typically a common response. Watch out for prolonged periods of crying or bouts of tearfulness.

Sleep Patterns
Depression affects all aspects of a person’s life. If you find that your loved one is sleeping significantly more or less than normal, this could be a sign of depression.

Physical Complaints
Depression sometimes disguises itself in abnormal physical pain. It can reveal itself on many different levels. Decide whether the physical complaints are related to common complaints they might have had in the past, or if they are new and unrelated.

Appetite and Weight Gain or Loss
Again, depression affects all aspects of a person’s life. The chemical changes in the person’s body and brain can change their appetite. One could be eating more or significantly less. Be sure to monitor their eating habits and whether or not they take pleasure in eating.

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