Symptoms of Depression in Dementia
Health & FitnessUncategorized

How to Identify the Symptoms of Depression in Dementia

People with dementia frequently develop depression. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 40% of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other related ailments experience depression. Even while it happens frequently, it is neither inevitable nor natural.

Given that the symptoms of the two disorders are frequently similar, it can be challenging to determine whether someone has Alzheimer’s disease or depression.

Recognizing Depression in Dementia

Identifying depression from dementia can be difficult due to the similarities of symptoms of both these disorders. So, how can you determine if your loved one is depressed while having dementia?

The frequent critical indicator of depression in a person is that they exhibit a change in their feelings or behaviors compared to their typical mood and behavior.

It is also crucial to remember that depression symptoms in dementia patients may not appear as severe as in people without dementia. For instance, someone with depression and word-finding issues might not express their emotions more openly. People may withdraw or seem listless when they find it difficult to communicate feelings.

Also, a person may be more likely to experience a mood disorder like depression if they have a personal or family history of depression or anxiety before receiving a dementia diagnosis.

What are the Symptoms of Depression?

The following symptoms may help you distinguish depression in your loved one with dementia.

  • Loss of interest and Apathy

A diminished desire to engage with others and take part in the activities going on around you can be an indication of dementia as well as a sign of depression. You can tell the difference by choosing an activity your loved one usually enjoys and observing how they react.

  • Weight Loss and Reduced Appetite

Eating patterns in dementia patients can show signs of depression. Your loved one can claim that nothing is enjoyable to eat these days. Even if you offer him his favorite dessert, he might only eat a bite before rejecting it. Of course, other medical illnesses might cause a decreased appetite, so be sure to mention this symptom to your doctor.

  • Irritation and Agitation

A few dementia patients who experience depression exhibit irritability and restlessness and are more easily agitated by others or their surroundings.

  • Sadness and Crying

Since small things affect the parts of the brain that regulate emotions, crying over small things is prevalent in some forms of dementia. Your loved one may be depressed if they cry a lot.

  • Various physical complaints

Complaints and worries about multiple physical conditions may be indicators of depression. There may also be other medical reasons for those issues, but if there is no known cause, depression may be present.

  • Fatigue

When depressed, some people get tired more quickly. They can whine that they are no longer energetic.

  •  Changing Sleep Patterns

Oversleeping and trouble falling or staying asleep can be symptoms of depression.

How to Evaluate Depression?

Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) can evaluate depression in dementia patients. There are several questions on this screen that the subject and an informant have to answer. Anyone with extensive knowledge of the subject (the patient), such as a close relative or reliable caregiver, can serve as the informant. The Cornell Screen asks questions regarding behavior, mood, sleep, moodiness, appetite, and weight loss. A score of 18 or above denotes significant depression, while a score of 10 or higher indicates a likely depressive episode.

If you or a loved one exhibits any of the symptoms listed above, seek professional assistance. The treatment of depression can result in an improved quality of life.

Alzheimer’s Research Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. We provide the latest information and news about the illness and helpful tips to help caregivers cope with their daily caregiving challenges. We realize the most important thing that a caregiver needs is financial assistance. Therefore, we provide grants to caregivers to ease their financial burden. Caregivers can apply for grants here: Alzheimer’s Grant Applicant. You can also help caregivers in their endeavors by donating as much as possible: Donation to Alzheimer’s Research Association.

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Elien william
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