Depression in the Elderly

Depression is the most common metal illness in found in the elderly. Mild depression affects only about 15 to 20 % of the elderly and major depression affects only about 1-2 % of the population. Although the percentages seem low, it is still very important to recognize depression symptoms as early as possible. Too often depression is dismissed as “normal behavior” for the aging.
Depression in the elderly can be triggered by many different issues or situations. For example, the loss of a spouse is a common cause of geriatric depression, bereavement, loss of health, or loss of health in a spouse. For many, the cause could just be the buildup of disappointments in throughout life in general.
Depression tends to last longer in the elderly. Again, the elderly adults tend not to want to complain of feeling down, as they assume that these feelings occur naturally with aging. Factors that increase the risk of depression in the elderly are increased by certain factors which include but are not limited to: being female, being single, widowed, or divorced, and the lack of social support or social interaction.
It is essential to know the depression symptoms and signs in the elderly, as they can be mistaken for other disorders or even worse, never treated. Symptoms of depression in the elderly are similar to young people that suffer depression except the elderly do not often complain of feeling down as they believe that the sadness and/or aches and pains is due to aging. Many do not even realize they are depressed because they tend to feel more of the physical symptoms of depression. The physical symptoms include:   insomnia, loss of appetite, inability to concentrate, and weight loss.
Signs of depression include: pessimism about the future, isolation, lack of interest in activities they normally enjoyed, persistent sadness, and suicidal thoughts. If suicidal thoughts are present psychiatric help must be sought immediately, as suicide is more common among older adults...