Depression in older people

Depression in Older People

What is depression?

Everyone of us knows what it feels like to be 'down in the dumps' or sad. We may even refer to ourselves as 'feeling depressed'.

However depression is a very serious condition which can affect a person both mentally and physically.

When a person feels down or sad, these feelings usually pass relatively quickly. However depression is when these feelings go on for at least a few weeks, affecting all parts of the person's life.

Depression can affect every part of your life, from the way you sleep to the way you act around your friends.

Depressed people cannot 'snap out of this condition' or 'pull themselves together'. They need professional help. Therefore if you or somebody you know is showing signs of depression, consult your doctor immediately. Do not suffer depression in silence hoping it will just go away on its own.

Depression is a treatable condition.

How can I tell the difference between just being down and being depressed?

Everybody feels down at some stage, however low moods are thought of as depression if they persist and affect all parts of your life.

If you have symptoms of depression, which last for most of the day for at least two weeks, you should consult your doctor immediately.

What are some of the psychological symptoms of depression?

What are some of the physical symptoms of depression?

What causes depression?

In some cases, there is an obvious reason for a person to become depressed. They may have experienced some sort of traumatic event, such as the death of a spouse.

However sometimes there is no obvious reason. In such cases, depression may be caused by a combination of psychological, environmental and genetic factors.

There are a number of factors which may make a person prone to depression:

While all of these factors may play a role in depression, it is important to note that none of them actually cause depression. These factors simply mean certain people may be more at risk than others.

What are the risk factors when it comes to older people and depression?

While no one thing can definitely cause depression, with older people, there are a number of risk factors associated with depression:

How is depression treated?

It is absolutely essential that you consult your doctor if you suspect depression or are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned for prolonged periods of time.

There are a number of options open to you:

Remember that depression is a treatable condition.

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