How to Avoid Depression Due to Chronic Illness

Chronic disease can impact many aspects of daily life and increase an individual's dependence on others. For many, these changes result in feelings of hopelessness and depression. Consider these tips to boost mood and spirit in your loved one:

Build a Support System:

Isolation is a major risk factor for loneliness and depression. Socialization can help your loved one feel like she or he is not alone. Plus, engaging in social activities also boosts self-esteem and joining activities or engaging in community events may improve your loved one's mood.

Diet, Exercise and Medication:

Adequate nutrition and physical activity can ward off many symptoms of depression. It is important to also check the side effects of any medications your loved one is taking to see if depression is one of them. Make sure to talk to a doctor if you feel your loved one may be affected.

Find the Right Doctor:

The natural aging process makes many health conditions more likely. It is very important to have a trustworthy and dependable doctor to guide your loved one as they age. If you don't already have a good doctor, search for one that will listen and adapt to your loved one's needs. If you are not sure where to look, ask friends or family for recommendations.

Set Goals:

Especially in the later stages of adulthood, it is very important mentally and emotionally to be setting attainable goals and working towards them. This practice has been said to give seniors a sense of purpose in life. Research has even shown that having purpose in life improves health outcomes and extends life. Achieving challenging but realistic goals can give your loved one a greater sense of independence and self-confidence.