Depression and Older Adults
Depression is a common problem among older adults, and there are several types of depression that older adults may experience. Counseling, medicine, or other forms of treatment can help. If you are considering harming yourself, call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room right away.
What are risk factors of depression?
Loneliness and social isolation are risk factors for depression, and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought attention to the issue, but many Americans were lonely before the pandemic. If you’re feeling lonely or socially isolated, try calling someone or joining a virtual club.
What are signs and symptoms of depression?
Depression in older adults can be difficult to detect because older people’s symptoms differ from those of younger people. If left untreated, serious depression can lead to suicide, so knowing the warning signs and how to seek help can save lives.
Supporting friends and family with depression
Here are some things you can do to help if you’re a friend or family member of someone who is depressed. Keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of depression or suicide, and don’t be afraid to ask if a family member or friend is depressed or suicidal.
How is depression treated?
A doctor can rule out certain medications or medical conditions with a physical exam and other tests. If there is no medical condition, a psychological evaluation can help determine a diagnosis. Psychotherapy, counseling, or “talk therapy” are common forms of treatment for depression. Not all medications or therapies will be right for everyone.
Can depression be prevented?
Participation in clinical trials and studies can help advance research to better diagnose, treat, and prevent depression. If you’re interested in participating in a clinical trial or study about depression, talk to your doctor.
For more information about depression
For more information, call 202-401-4634 or go to www.acl.gov.
What percent of the elderly are depressed?
Depression affects about 1%-5% of the general elderly population, 13.5% of elderly people who require home healthcare, and 11.5% of older hospital patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How many people over 65 are depressed?
According to the National Institutes of Health, depression usually begins in early adulthood, but it is also common among older adults, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating that 7 million Americans over the age of 65 experience depression each year.
What percentage of adults aged 65 years or older currently have depression?
In 2006, adults aged 50u201364 reported higher rates of current depression and lifetime diagnosis of depression than those aged 65 and up (9.4% vs. 5.0% for current depressive symptoms and 19.3% vs. 10.5% for lifetime diagnosis of depression, respectively).
What age groups suffer the most from depression?
Women were more likely than men to experience mild, moderate, or severe symptoms of depression. The percentage of adults who experienced any symptoms of depression was highest among those aged 18u201329 (21.0%), followed by those aged 45u201364 (18.4%) and 65 and over (18.4%), and finally, those aged 30u201344 (16.8%).
What is the most common cause of depression in older adults?
The loss of a spouse or partner, as well as the death of friends, family members, and pets, are all common causes of depression in older adults.
What is the most serious symptom of depression?
Feelings of hopelessness, irritability, loss of pleasure, difficulty concentrating or sleeping, or thoughts of death or suicide are all signs of severe depression. 1 Technically, severe depression isn’t a formal mental health diagnosis; rather, it refers to depression that is more debilitating in nature.
Why do people get depressed when they get older?
If blood flow is restricted, blood vessels may stiffen and reduce normal flow to the brain over time, resulting in depression that occurs for the first time later in life.
What is the most effective treatment for depression in older adults?
According to research, psychotherapy is just as likely to be an effective first treatment for depression in older adults as taking an antidepressant, and some older adults would rather get counseling or psychotherapy for depression than take more medications for other conditions.
What actually causes depression?
According to research, depression is caused by a variety of factors such as faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical issues, rather than simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals.
Does age affect mental illness?
Mental illness isn’t a natural part of growing older; in fact, mental health disorders affect younger adults more frequently than the elderly, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, but seniors are less likely to seek help.
What age group has the highest rate of mental illness?
SMI was most common in young adults aged 18-25 years (8.6%), followed by adults aged 26-49 years (6.8%), and adults aged 50 and older (2.9%).
What emotional issues do seniors have?
Isolation, affective and anxiety disorders, dementia, and psychosis are all common mental health issues among seniors. Many seniors also suffer from sleep and behavioral disorders, cognitive deterioration, or confusion states as a result of physical disorders or surgical interventions.
Does depression age your face?
For starters, when people are depressed, they may tense specific facial muscles, grimacing or frowning, and these “negative facial expressions can become sort of etched into the skin in the form of fine lines and wrinkles,” according to Day.
Who is prone to depression?
People between the ages of 45 and 65 are most likely to develop major depression. u201cPeople in middle age are at the top of the bell curve for depression, but people at each end of the curve, the very young and very old, may be at higher risk for severe depression,u201d says Walch.
What gender is more likely to be depressed?
Depression affects nearly twice as many women as it does men, and it can strike at any age. Some mood swings and depressed feelings are caused by normal hormonal changes.