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Depression and dementia

After being diagnosed with younger onset dementia, you may feel low in self-esteem or depressed. Understandably, you may worry about your ability to manage your physical and social wellbeing.

You can still live a happy and fulfilling life with dementia. Dementia Australia can guide you through whatever you're experiencing.

You may experience dementia and depression together or separately. It may be difficult to distinguish between them, as some of the symptoms overlap. Typical signs of depression can include:

  • Loss of interest and pleasure in previously enjoyed activities
  • Lack of energy
  • Poor sleep
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Feelings of worthlessness and sadness
  • Being unusually emotional, angry or agitated
  • Increased confusion.

The good news is there are strategies and treatments that can help with depression.

If you want to talk to someone, contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

What to do if you experience depression

If you think you could be affected by depression, it’s okay to ask. Have a chat to your doctor – they’ll conduct an assessment and explain what types of treatment are best suited to you. Options can include medication, psychiatric support, or changes to your daily routine that may improve your mood.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression after being diagnosed with younger onset dementia, professional help can make a big difference to your quality of life.

For information about depression and treatments, you can visit Beyond Blue’s website or call them on 1300 224 636.

Unsure what depression might look like for people with dementia?