Elderly depression

So why does she hardly smile and seem irritable around the kids now? Has your dad always been a lifelong baseball fan?

Elderly depression

Are you an older adult with depression?

Presence of chronic or severe pain Previous history of depression Substance abuse Brain scans of people who develop their first depression Elderly depression old age often reveal spots in the brain that may not be receiving adequate blood flow, believed to result from years of high blood pressure.

Chemical changes in these brain cells may enhance the likelihood of depression separate from any life stress. There are several treatment options available for depression. They include medicine, psychotherapy or counseling, or electroconvulsive therapy or other newer forms of brain stimulation such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation rTMS.

Sometimes, a combination of these treatments may be used. Studies have found that while antidepressants can be helpful in older adults, they may not always be as effective as in younger patients.

For example, certain older antidepressants such as amitriptyline and imipramine can be sedating, Elderly depression cause confusion, or cause a sudden drop in blood pressure when a person stands up. That can lead to falls and fractures.

Elderly depression

Antidepressants may take longer to start working in older people than they do in younger people. Since elderly people are more sensitive to medicines, doctors may prescribe lower doses at first. In general, the length of treatment for depression in the elderly is longer than it is in younger patients.

Most depressed people find that support from family and friends, involvement in self-help and support groups, and psychotherapy are helpful. Psychotherapy is especially beneficial for those who have endured major life stresses such as loss of friends and family, home relocations, and health problems or who prefer not to take medicine and have only mild to moderate symptoms.

It also is helpful for people who cannot take drugs because of side effects, interactions with other medicines, or other medical illnesses. Psychotherapy in older adults can address a broad range of functional and social consequences of depression. Many doctors recommend the use of psychotherapy in combination with antidepressant medicines.

ECT can play an important role in the treatment of depression in older adults. When older patients are unable to take traditional antidepressant medicines because of side effects or interactions with other medications, when depression is very severe and interferes with basic daily functioning such as eating, bathing and groomingor when risk for suicide is especially high, ECT is often a safe and effective treatment option.

The stigma attached to mental illness and psychiatric treatment is even more powerful among the elderly than among younger people.

Elderly depression

This stigma can keep elderly people from acknowledging that they are depressed, even to themselves. Elderly people and their families sometimes also may wrongly misidentify depression symptoms as "normal" reactions to life stresses, losses, or the aging process.

Continued Also, depression may be expressed through physical complaints rather than traditional symptoms.Depression is a true and treatable medical condition, not a normal part of aging.


However older adults are at an increased risk for experiencing depression. If you are concerned about a loved one, offer to go with him or her to see a health care provider to be diagnosed and treated.

Minor Depression—depression symptoms that are less severe than those of major depression and dysthymia, and symptoms do not last long.

Do you know the signs? Depression may sometimes be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in some older adults because sadness is not their main symptom. Older people are at risk for depression, are underserved by the mental health profession, and have the highest rates of suicide in the country.

Depression in the elderly is associated with an increased risk of cardiac diseases and an increased risk of death from illness. At the same time, depression reduces an elderly person's ability to rehabilitate.

Depression is not a normal part of aging. This brochure describes the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for depression in older adults. Depression in the elderly often increases their risk of cardiac diseases.

Depression doubles an elderly person's risk of cardiac diseases and increases their risk of death from illness. At the same time, depression reduces an elderly person's ability to rehabilitate.

Depression in Older Adults: Recognizing the Signs of Elderly Depression and Getting Treatment