Depression And The Elderly : The Major Risks Of Old Age Depression

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Depression in the Elderly: The Major Risks of Old Age Depression To gain an improved understanding of depression in elderly and how to treat such cases, a definition of the disease itself must be familiarized: the ensuing information and research aims to supplement previous understandings. Since the elderly are not usually studied as a major demographic of depression patients, general statistics will be used when needed. The statistical difference between an average person with depression and an elderly person with depression must be recognized in these cases, but one can reasonably assume a similarity in the potential data. Dependent elderly should be examined further in depression cases, due to a lack of research on a major subset to…show more content…
Recent reports have found that simply having a smaller hippocampus can be a major cause for depression (Alan F. Schatzberg, 2002). However, depression in young adults varies slightly as compared to depression in the elderly (Gallo et al., 1994). Older adults are much less likely to portray symptoms of dysphoria and worthlessness or guilt, than are younger adults. On the other hand, symptoms such as fatigue, loss of interest in living, hopelessness, and psychomotor impairment are more common in the depressed elderly as compared to younger adults (Christensen et al., 1999). There is no distinct evidence of variation by gender or ethnicity (Gallo, Cooper-Patrick, & Lesikar, 1998). About ten percent of the six million people affected by late life depression ever receive treatment for their condition (Brown University Long Term Care Quarterly, 1997). Importance to Society Approximately 6.5 million of the 35 million elderly Americans are affected by depression (Duckworth, 2009). Rarely, however, the first onset of depression is experienced so late in life. Depression in the elderly is closely related to dependency or disability, which in turn causes a great distress for not only the family, but also for the individual. Approximately 15% of community-dwelling elderly show clinically significant depressive symptoms (Blazer, 2003). The rate for women is higher than it is in men,
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