Depression in the Elderly
Depression is the most common psychiatric disease, affecting
between 10% to 35% of hospitalized elderly [severe form],
and older persons in the community [mild forms]. This
persistent or recurrent disorder generally results from
psychosocial stress or physiologic effects of disease
and can lead to disability, cognitive impairments, increased
symptoms from medical illness, increased utilization
of health care services and increased rates of suicide
and non-suicide mortality.
Elderly patients often avoid reporting or showing
that their mood level accepting it as an inevitable
consequence of aging. Symptoms of tachycardia, tremor,
hypoventilation and light-headedness are common. Anxiety,
worry, apprehension or panic that is out of proportion
to an actual threat, making it difficult to diagnose
by others. Therefore, depression in the elderly is often
under-recognized and under-treated.
The increased incidence and prevalence of depression
with aging is often due to physical disability, bereavement,
cognitive abilities and social isolation. Depression
may also be caused by a variety of drugs; often associated
with common aging diseases such as heart disease, stroke,
diabetes, cancer, and Parkinson's disease.
Depression is NOT a normal part of aging and should
not be accepted by such by either patient or doctor.
Depression is a treatable disease and the treatment
Depression in Women