Depression is an illness that causes you to feel sad or hopeless much of the time. It is different from normal feelings of sadness, grief, or low energy. Some people think that depression is normal with age.
Depression affects more than 19 million Americans every year, regardless of age, race, or gender. While depression is not a normal part of the aging process, there is a strong likelihood of it occurring when other physical health conditions are present. For example, nearly a quarter of thepeople who experience a stroke in a given year will experience clinical depression.
Depression is more than just feeling sad or blue. It is a common but serious mood disorder that needs treatment. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, and working.
Depression in Older People. What is depression? Everyone of us knows what it feels like to be 'down in the dumps' or sad.
Geriatric depression is a mental and emotional disorder affecting older adults. However, lasting depression is not a typical part of aging. Older adults are more likely to suffer from subsyndromal depression.
Often older people with anxiety will experience a range of symptoms from the categories below:. It's important to note that everyone experiences some of these symptoms from time to time and it may not necessarily mean that the person is depressed. Equally, not every person who is experiencing depression will have all of these 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. It is a true medical condition that is treatable, like diabetes or hypertension.
Richard B. Birrer, M. Depression in elderly persons is widespread, often undiagnosed, and usually untreated.