Seniors and Depression

Seniors and Depression

Seniors and depression are people less likely than other age groups to report depression and may not acknowledge being sad, down or depressed.

  • The Earth Walk Mental Health Support Community - Seniors and DepressionDepression in old age often goes undetected and may be wrongly attributed to age, dementia or poor health.
  • Signs of depression in adults over 65 can include unexplained physical symptoms, memory loss, and various behavioural changes.
  • Causes of depression in old age will vary according to when the depression was first experienced. If depression was first experienced earlier in life, genetic, personality and life experiences will be likely causes whereas if the depression is first developed later in life, physical health problems may be the cause.
  • Social isolation and loneliness commonly accompany depression in adults over 65.
  • Untreated depression in old age has many adverse effects.
  • Treatments for depression in old age are similar to those for other age groups but can be different in the way they’re applied.
  • Age does not reduce the effectiveness of treatments for depression.
  • Lifestyle changes in mid-life may be the key to preventing depression in old age.
  • Your doctor is the best first port of call if you’re over 65 and experiencing depression.

“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill him or herself doesn’t do so out of, quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing.

The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill him or herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. His or her terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.” – David Foster Wallace

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