Dearie’s Takeaway:
I’m glad this woman feels comfortable enough with her doctor to ask questions! From the medicines I’ve been on. I’d say she should ask about possible side effects of taking anti-depressants, and maybe how long it takes to work. And I like your point about finding ways to manage sleep and appetite without medications.

Barbara’s Takeaway:
Before agreeing to medication, try some home management and self-care. Establish good sleep routines; minimize caffeine and alcohol through the day and find calming and restful activities before bedtime. A little exercise during the day or right after dinner is also a good way to ensure that you’ve used all your muscles and now need a good rest.
Don’t be afraid to admit you’re sad or lonely. Depression is a real thing and loss of sleep and appetite are signs and symptoms of a true depression, not just a passing sad moment. If you do agree to take medication, I would recommend you also seek professional help from a therapist. One-on-one counseling is often helpful and these days you can often find therapists who will come to your home. There may also be group programs that can be very successful in helping to find ways to get past the hurt of loss and loneliness.
For ways to find therapists in your area check with local senior centers who often have social workers on staff and offer short-term counseling. Your doctor may also have a social worker or psychologist on staff. Some healthcare systems have clinics in a specialty field called Geropsychiatry. Most areas have community mental health centers or searching the web for a therapist with a special interest in aging will be your best bet. Mama, what do you think?
Dearie: Sounds good to me!