Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

Is It Caregiver Stress or Depression?

It's natural for you to feel stressed now and then when you're taking care of your loved one. Sometimes, though, stress can lead to -- or be a symptom of -- depression. There are treatments that can help.

Here are some signs to watch for that might show you're getting depressed:

Recommended Related to Healthy Seniors

4 Ways to Stop Age-Related Memory Loss

She could deal with constantly forgetting her shopping list, and she'd made a habit of writing down where she'd parked her car, each and every time. But in her mid-50s, Janis Mara's memory problems started costing her money. Late fees began piling up because she forgot to pay her bills. "Over time, it really intensified," she says. "I wanted to think I was just getting older, but my fear was that it was Alzheimer's." After bugging her HMO for an MRI, Mara discovered that her lapses weren't anything...

Read the 4 Ways to Stop Age-Related Memory Loss article > >

  • An "empty" feeling, ongoing sadness, and anxiety
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
  • Sexual problems or a drop in your sex drive
  • Change in sleep patterns, such as waking up earlier than normal in the morning, trouble getting to sleep, or needing more sleep
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Regular episodes of crying
  • Aches and pains that won't go away
  • Trouble staying focused, remembering, or making decisions
  • Grim feelings about the future
  • Feeling guilty, helpless, or worthless
  • Feeling irritable or stressed
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Stomachache and digestive problems

If these symptoms last for more than 2 weeks, see your doctor.


Your doctor may treat your depression with antidepressant drugs, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two.

If you have psychotherapy, you'll talk to a therapist who can help you focus on the behaviors, emotions, and ideas that are contributing to your depression.

During your sessions with a therapist, you'll learn to identify the problems or situations (such as caring for an ill or elderly loved one) that may be affecting your mental health. You'll then figure out which of these problems can be solved and improved. It will allow you to regain a sense of control and pleasure in life.

Preventing Depression

There are a few practical steps you can take to prevent depression. Get regular exercise and eat a balanced diet. That can help you avoid illnesses that can bring on depression.

It's also important to call your doctor right away if you feel overwhelmed by your caregiving tasks or notice any changes in your health, thinking, or behavior.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on February 22, 2015

Today on WebMD

Eating for a longer, healthier life.
woman biking
How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
fast healthy snack ideas
how healthy is your mouth
dog on couch
doctor holding syringe
champagne toast
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Man feeding woman
two senior women laughing