Identifying Isolation-Induced Depression

Depending on the individual, it may be difficult to identify when a person is experiencing isolation-induced depression. It is usually difficult for the individual to recognize it themselves. We all experience changes in mood. Sometimes feeling “depressed” is part of living but remember, depression is different.

See Understanding Isolation-induced Depression to learn the differences

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) indicates that depressive symptoms in seniors can sometimes be slightly different than those exhibited by someone who is younger. There are always variations in symptoms and severity of symptoms between individuals as well. In general, look for:

  • Changes in sleep
  • Changes in appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • Loss of energy
  • Lack of interest
  • Less physical movement
  • Slowed movements or speech
  • Hopelessness
  • Increased agitation
  • More demanding
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Increased complaints (often vague and non-specific)
  • Memory lapses
  • Confusion
  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts

If a person is experiencing hallucinations call 9-1-1
If a person is talking about suicide, call the
Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline 800.273.8255

Some symptoms of depression are similar to other illnesses, dementia, or stroke. Since all may occur in older people, it is critical to get a professional assessment. This is the best way to diagnose or rule out depression.

Women experience depression twice as often as men. They are also more likely to experience chronic depression, beyond situational or isolation-induced depressive episodes. It is important to watch our elders, especially women, for signs of depression.

Identifying, diagnosing, and treating depression as soon as possible is important. It not only helps the individual’s mood but can prevent other health and social issues from  occurring.

Additional information and resources

  • Read more about mental illness on the NAMI website
  • Review our Toolkit (below) for a variety of online assessment tools
  • Visit our Crisis Resources page for Idaho-based assistance
  • Call your local Area Agency on Aging to get a service referral to help

Isolation-Induced Depression pages on this site
Isolation-induced Depression Home Understanding | Identifying | Effects | Other Effects | Preventing
View the Disease Prevention & Health Promotion home page

Disclaimer: Information is for general education purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical or therapeutic advice. It is provided as a courtesy only. No content on the ICOA website, social media platforms, e-mail communications or links therein should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician