Dr. Shawn Weiss
Dr. Shawn Weiss

Diagnoses of depression and anxiety have risen 25% since the pandemic. Dr. Shawn Weiss joins Suzanne to talk about ways depression and anxiety can be reduced holistically.

One of the best things to do for depression and anxiety is to exercise. If you are over 50 and are feeling a bit lost and want to make changes, check out Shawn Weiss’s Fit Over 50 30 day Coaching Program that will address the 6 Pillars of Health, that includes improving emotional health.

How do you start? Shawn says, “The first thing, you have to get an assessment. There are many wonderful standardized assessments. Just going to your primary care physician would be my first suggestion, because they will point you in the right direction, and then they start trying to rule out other things. If you have somebody who has cognitive impairment, it’s very difficult to diagnose because there are overlapping concerns. There’s a term called pseudo dementia, when somebody who believes they’re demented, but they’re actually severely depressed. You do the screenings and you’re really trying to weigh and pinpoint exactly what’s happening. Medicare has our standardized depression questionnaires that we do with everybody. And if you meet that criteria, then you really should do something about it. Medication is probably the first line of defense in depression, simply because it just takes the edge off, and once you improve those symptoms, especially if you have cognitive impairment, you’ll tend to see an improvement on the other side of that.

“I’m always going to say, well, I don’t want to do medication, that would be the last resort. You want to address the underlying causes of the depression. Is it a big life event, is a stressor triggering it? You’re going to dig a little bit deeper, and you can do that even in counseling, and a lot of people in the older generation don’t want to go to counseling, but there’s so many things that you can identify. Like, there’s been a death in the family, and maybe there’s going to be your health diagnosis, all these things that can trigger sadness. Therapy is really good because it allows your brain to process.”

Dr. Weiss shared a video called the “Endocannabinoid System, the Hemp Plant, CBD and Optimal Health.” Watch this valuable information session featuring Dr. Erin Luecke, PT, DPT and Dr. Shawn Weiss, PT, DPT. Learn how the ECS impacts our health, the importance of sourcing, breaking stigmas, and how to encourage conscious conversations. Watch it here: https://youtu.be/lUShMGDhSUc?si=Va8EauCWVHt7b6nl

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Answers for Elders is part of the Senior Resource Network. Check out our affiliate podcast Alzheimer’s Speaks.