Home  >>  Write  >>  Health  >>  Anxiety and Panic  >>  Anxiey Symptoms And Causes  >>  The main causes of elderly depression


Elderly depression is usually the response to a myriad of changes that occur in the life of senior citizens. Everyone knows that depression can greatly compromise the quality of life of its sufferer, no matter the age. No one is too young or too old to be depressed.

Many older people face a lot of changes and stressors in their lives that put them at risk for depression. Older adults with personal or family history of depression, substance abuse issues, failing health, or lack of adequate social support are at the highest risk of becoming depressed.

Causes of elderly depression include
    Recent bereavement: The death of close friends, family members and pets. The major cause of depression is usually the death of a spouse or partner.
    Health issues: Certain illness and disability, chronic or excruciating pains, cognitive decline, damage to the body due to surgical operations or disease.
    Loneliness and isolation – Living all alone, decreased mobility due to ailment or loss of driving privileges, children  or family members live very faraway, social circle is dwindling due to deaths or relocation to other towns, states or countries.
    Medications: There are several prescription medications that are known to trigger or aggravate depression.
    Fear: Fear of death or dying; anxiety over money matters or health problems
    Reduced sense of purpose: Most elderly depression develops because the sufferer feels a sense of purposelessness or the loss of his or her identity due to retirement or physical limitations on activities that he or she loves to participate in.

Here are symptoms of depression in the elderly
    Fatigue
    Weight loss caused by loss of appetite
    Sadness
    Trouble with falling and staying asleep
    Loss of self worth – feeling like a burden to those around them, feeling worthless, self-hatred
    Increased intake of alcohol or other pills
    Losing interest in activities and other favorite pleasurable pastimes
    Social withdrawal and isolation
    Fixation on death, thought of committing suicide or attempts
Treatment for elderly depression includes:

Depression in elderly people can be treated in few ways, but one of most common form of treatment involves a combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy sessions. Members of the family are also asked to take part in therapy sessions, because the more moral support the depressed elder receives, the more his or her chances of total recovery.

Another effective alternative for treating elderly depression is advising the patient to discover a new activity of interest or participation in specialized program, for example art therapy. Finding a new outlet for emotion can ease the symptoms of depression and give the patient a new lease on life.

If depression is left untreated, it can lead to certain risks such as illness, alcohol and prescription medication abuse or even suicide. So it is very important to watch for the tell tale signs of depression in elderly people, so that you can get them much needed help. With treatment and moral support, elderly people who suffer from depression can make a full recovery and live healthy and full lives.