There is enough bad news in the world to keep people in a state of stress, anxiety and it could all lead to a state of mild depression.
The latest news from Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam that symptoms of depression which steadily increase over time in older age could indicate early signs of dementia does not help matters.
Scientists, reports the BBC, said they looked at different ways depression in older adults progressed over time and how this related to any risk of dementia. They concluded worsening depression may signal the condition is taking hold.
But they found, said Dr M Arfan Ikram, that other patterns of symptoms, such as chronic depression, appear not to be linked.
The Dutch study cannot prove cause-and-effect, and certainly not every depressed senior is headed for dementia. But experts said the findings are intriguing.
“More research is needed, but the study raises the possibility of an overlap between the pathology of dementia and depression,” said Dr. Gisele Wolf-Klein, who reviewed the findings. She directs geriatric education at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York.
Epidemiologist Ikram said his team tracked depression symptoms in more than 3,300 adults, aged 55 and older, in the Netherlands for 11 years. The patients were then monitored for signs of dementia for another 10 years.
Only the group whose symptoms of depression increased over time were found to be at increased risk of dementia – about one in five of people (55 out of 255) in this group developed dementia.
Depression varies greatly from one person to another. Some experience depressive symptoms only briefly, others have remitting and relapsing depression and some people are depressed all the time.
Dr Simon Ridley, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, told the BBC that anyone concerned about either condition should seek help.
“The findings suggest that low levels of depression or fluctuating symptoms may not affect dementia risk but that a worsening of symptoms in the over-55s may be an early indicator of diseases like Alzheimer’s,” he said.
People can suffer from a wide variety of distressing feelings and circumstances which can lead to depression. Clinical Hypnotherapy can be effective in helping people deal with depression, without any harmful side effects.
The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) has more than 1,800 qualified clinical hypnotherapists on its directory who can help people with heightened anxiety and stress which can lead to depression if not treated.
It is important, says the NCH, to reduce anxiety in one’s life as research shows that prolonged exposure to the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol can cause memory problems, a weakened immune system, increased blood pressure and reduced fertility levels.
Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels can also increase the risk of depression, mental illness, and lower one’s life expectancy.
With clinical hypnotherapy, the underlying emotions that feed the anxiety are addressed and effective hypnotherapy can quickly, usually in the first session, get down to the source of the anxiety. It is best to begin with the current situation or triggering event in the client’s life.
Statistics show that about one in seven people are suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK. So now, perhaps, is the time to seek treatment before it manifests into something worse. Use the NCH directory to find a therapist near you.