Depression and Aging
For more than four decades, Dr. Robin Ohringer has helped children, teens, and adults as a psychotherapist in Massachusetts. Over the course of her career, Dr. Robin Ohringer has come to focus her work on helping girls and women between the ages of 14 and 60 and has addressed such issues as anxiety, depression, and various age-related mental health problems.
As people age, they typically experience a greater number of losses and thus may be more prone to sadness. Although feeling sad is normal, a lingering sense of hopelessness is not. This sense of hopelessness is a sign of depression, as is irritability, fatigue, reduced enthusiasm for hobbies or other interests, and change in appetite. Unfortunately, depression in older adults is often undertreated or misdiagnosed. This sometimes happens because health care providers may mistake a person’s symptoms of depression as a normal reaction to major life changes or illness. Further, many older adults believe depression doesn’t need to be treated, but this is not the case.
When depression goes untreated, an older adult’s daily life is diminished. Their changes in eating habits can result in either obesity or, in extreme cases, geriatric anorexia, a condition characterized by decreased energy levels and loss of appetite. Older adults with depression also have higher rates of memory loss and insomnia and slower reaction times.
Fortunately, depression in older adults can be treated. Caregivers, adult children, or older adults themselves must recognize the signs of depression. They can then seek out the help of a trained therapist. Depending on the situation, this professional will prescribe medication to reduce the symptoms and suggest varying types of treatments, including regular therapy or increased amounts of sunlight.
As a privately practicing psychotherapist, Dr. Robin Ohringer treats individuals of all ages but maintains a client base primarily composed of women age 14 to 60. In treating this population, Dr. Robin Ohringer has discovered a particular interest in treating the emotional struggles inherent in pregnancy loss.
Miscarriage, also known as loss of pregnancy or spontaneous abortion, can be devastating for a woman. She finds herself grieving not only for the child she never had a chance to raise but the experiences that she had expected to have. The related feelings of deep sadness may for some women develop into clinical depression, a serious mental illness characterized by such symptoms as hopelessness, lack of energy, trouble concentrating, and even thoughts of suicide.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, women who have experienced a pregnancy loss have a greater risk of a major depressive disorder as compared to women who have not carried a child. The risk is particularly strong in those women who have miscarried and have had major depression in the past, as 50 percent of these women experience a recurrence of the depression.
Fortunately, data has shown that mental health support can significantly reduce a woman’s emotional challenges in the first year after the pregnancy loss. Professional support may take the form of psychotherapy or medication, though some women also seek out the fellowship of others in their situation or engage in personal healing rituals. It is vitally important that women with depression after pregnancy loss receive the time and space they need to process their loss in a way that works for them, without judgment or demands to heal at anyone else’s pace.
An experienced psychotherapist, Robin Ohringer, PhD, treats a wide variety of conditions at her practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In fact, Dr. Robin Ohringer has a special interest in helping people cope with infertility issues.
Impacting about 10 percent of people in the United States, infertility is not an uncommon problem. However, infertility-related issues are on the rise because people are waiting longer than ever to start a family, and the risk of infertility increases sharply as prospective parents reach their mid-30s.
Fertility struggles can negatively affect mental health. Patients may experience depression and anxiety as a result of feeling inadequate or ashamed of their fertility difficulties. Couples struggling to conceive may even feel stigmatized in a culture where young families are expected to have children.
Fortunately, mental health professionals are equipped to support patients facing fertility obstacles. For instance, providers may recommend group or talk therapy. They may also recommend prescription medicine to address symptoms of anxiety and depression, if necessary. It’s important to note that there is no evidence that shows antidepressants suppress fertility.
Dr. Robin Ohringer of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a practicing psychotherapist who works with children, adolescents, individuals, and couples. In full-time private practice for 22 years, Dr. Robin Ohringer counsels those who have infertility and pregnancy issues.
Miscarriage is defined as a pregnancy that spontaneously stops on its own within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is estimated that 10 percent to 25 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Chemical pregnancies, when the pregnancy is lost right after impregnation, account for 50 percent to 75 percent of miscarriages.
The most common cause for miscarriages in the first trimester are chromosomal abnormalities. A damaged egg or sperm cell can cause the chromosomal abnormalities, as well as genetic defects. Chromosomal abnormalities account for about half of the miscarriages within the first trimester.
Recurrent miscarriage, or recurrent pregnancy loss, can be emotionally difficult. Parents that are affected by the loss of a pregnancy can feel grief, depression, anger, confusion, and emptiness. Seeking a therapist can help people come to terms with the loss of a pregnancy or a miscarriage.