The links between depression and dementia are deep-rooted. Many of the symptoms are shared between the two, and too often, people just assume that the problems they are experiencing are an inevitable part of their dementia and something they must just put up with.
In fact however, treatment for depression is not only available, but often proves very effective for those in the early and mid stages of dementia.
Estimates suggest that as many as 40% of all those diagnosed with one of the many forms of dementia will experience a period of depression at some point. Apathy, loss of interest in hobbies and activities, social isolation, trouble concentrating and sleeping, and general withdrawal are all signs of depression. Often though, the cognitive impairment caused by the dementia hampers the person’s ability to articulate their feelings adequately, making it difficult for them to seek the help they need.
The first port of call should be the GP, who will be in the best position to explore the best possible options for drug medications, counselling and complimentary therapies.
The most effective treatment is likely to be a combination of medicine, counselling and activities that bring about reconnection with the people and activities that bring happiness and contentment.
Celebrate small successes and occasions.