It has been an amazing quarter and I have really enjoyed learning a little more about depression, happiness, and aging. It is interesting to see how this blog has evolved since I first came up with the idea two months ago. Back then I was more interested with the idea of the myth of happiness and aging and wanted to look at the causes for that myth in American culture (the myth – that old people are unhappy).
The great thing about a blog is that it can change and evolve into something so much better than you ever imagined. Instead of focusing on the myth I have taken a more direct approach, looking at ways that people can improve their happiness in old age. I have talked a lot about depression and provided information about treatment and prevention techniques. Some have been more obscure (Wii and Tai Chi) and others have been very straightforward (technology). I think the most important thing I have learned along this whole journey is that social networks are incredibly important at any age and happiness can be achieved through friendship, family, and activity.
As I look to the future, I want to continue to spread awareness about depression in the elderly community because there is some confusion that still exists about what is normal aging and what is depression that needs treatment. For my final project for this class, I created a poster filled with information I have found over the last ten weeks about symptoms, treatment, resources, and information for family and friends of people who have depression. I hope to find somewhere in the community to display it for people of all ages to see.
One important thing I have learned is that you don’t need to be depressed to seek out ways to strengthen your social network and add fun activities to your life. Friendship and community involvement can happen at any age and as has been stressed so many times in my longevity class, these things will help to create an intergenerational dialogue that will be essential moving forward and might one day help counteract the very myth that started me on this journey.
Thank you for taking this journey with me.
Until next time,
I want to thank you all for reading what I have to say.