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Symptoms And Treatment Of Depression

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Although older adults are at increased risk of depression, it is not a normal part of aging (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2015; Mental Health Association, 2016). Depression is among the leading causes of disability in the general adult population, ages 18 years and above (US Preventative Services Taskforce [USPST], 2016). The US Preventative Services Taskforce recommends that all adult patients be screened for depression (USPST, 2016). Approximately 6% of older adults, ages 65 and older, have some form of depression (Mental Health Association, 2016). The risk of depression doubles after age 80 (Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, 2012; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], 2011). According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2011), among older adults, women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression; the prevalence of dysthymia and minor depression in older adults is often under diagnosed; and lower treatment rates are seen among ethnic minorities when compared to whites (SAMHSA, 2011). Figure 1. outlines the prevalence of depression among older adults across all ethnicities.

Figure 1. Prevalence of Depression among Older Adults across all Ethnicities Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2011

Depression in older adults is a public health issue. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2011) depressed
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