Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I've just read some information linking depression and Alzheimer's. Apparently, those with depression were more likely to develop Alzheimer's later in life, even more so if the depression had been in evidence before the age of 60. This makes so much sense to me. My father was depressed throughout my childhood, going through cycles of black moods for days when he wouldn't speak to us, and periods of reasonable happiness and contentment, even joking. We never really knew what we were going to get with Dad and spent a lot of time pussy-footing around to avoid his anger. But it turns out he wasn't really angry, he was in deep despair, and he was not the sort of person to do anything about it other than suffer through it. I think after my mom died, the depression took over and opened the door to the Alzheimer's that would claim him a few years later. It seems to me that not only are we only just beginning to understand Alzheimer's, but depression as well. Once ignored or relegated to the "suck it up and bear it" class of dysfunctions, depression might turn out to be more important, and dangerous, than we ever imagined.