Aging Well Journal Newsletter – October 2014 Mental Health Awareness

  Good Health Includes Good Mental Health


Good health includes both physical and mental health and well-being. And the two go hand in hand. There are many good lifestyle choices we can make to keep our minds healthy.

 Be physically active!

It helps prevent dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, and helps alleviate depression too.

Be mentally active!

Try some mind-stimulating activities like crossword puzzles, reading, writing and learning new things. Be social with people and in the community.

What is Depression?

Do you feel very tired, helpless and hopeless? Are you sad most of the time and take no pleasure in your family, friends, or hobbies? Have you felt this way for a long time? If so, it’s possible you have depression. Family history, brain chemistry and stress can trigger depression. Depression is common among older adults, but is not a normal part of aging. The most common forms are:

  • Major depression—severe symptoms that interfere with daily activities and enjoyment
  • Dysthymic disorder, or dysthymia—less severe symptoms that last 2 years or longer
  • Minor depression—less severe symptoms of short duration, usually less than 2 years

Besides sadness, some symptoms of depression are:

  • Tired and loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Not able to concentrate or remember details
  • Not able to sleep, or sleeping too much
  • Overeating, or not wanting to eat at all
  • Thoughts of suicide, or suicide attempts

 How can I help a loved one who is depressed?

  • Help your loved one see a doctor.
  • Offer support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
  • Never ignore comments about suicide, and report them to your loved one’s therapist or doctor.
  • Invite him or her out for walks, outings, and other activities.

How can I help myself if I am depressed?

  • Stick with a treatment plan and gradually you will start to feel better.
  • Take your antidepressant according to your doctor’s orders.
  • Break up large tasks into small ones, and do what you can as you can.
  • Spend time with other people.
  • Do not make important life decisions until you feel better.


Christopher Columbus set foot in the New World on October 12, 1492.


He was looking for a new trade route to China and India. Instead, he landed in the Bahamas, becoming the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland during the 10th century.

16221794 jack o lantern

Save Those Seeds!

When cleaning the pumpkin, save the seeds. Toasted pumpkin seeds make a healthy as well as tasty snack. Toss 1 ½ cups of seeds in a bowl with 2 teaspoons melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes in a 300-degree oven. Enjoy!

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