Depression In Older Adults

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Depression in Older Adults Mental health was once a topic rarely addressed or even discussed. Over recent years depression has gained serious recognition as an illness and is the center of countless studies and awareness campaigns. With great amounts of time being spent on the topic of depression the elderly population often gets neglected when talking about this issue. Depression affects people of all ages and it is important to understand depression as it is present in our aging population.
Trigger Event Through experience in the clinical setting I have come into contact with a variety of older adults. Fellow students often make comments along the lines of “I feel so bad for them” and “this is so sad.” I often find myself making similar
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Recent life changes such as recent loss, physical capabilities, and decline in cognition can contribute to depression. There are several difficulties when identifying depression in the elderly. Often there are complaints of the physical changes brought on by depression, but patients tend to neglect reporting any physiological symptoms (Mecocci, P. et al, 2004). Common physical complaints are headaches, dizziness, gastrointestinal disorders, dyspnea, and abdominal pain. Another problem when dealing with older adults is that they don’t always want to see out help. Some elderly view having depression or any other form of mental illness as a character flaw, and not an illness (Allen 2015), others fail to report it as a result of them thinking those feelings are associated with the process of aging (Mecocci, P. et al, 2004). Often times the elderly will blame themselves for their illness and can feel like they will be humiliated if they talk about it, or admit to having such problems (Mecocci, P. et al, 2004). Overall diagnosing elderly individuals with depression can be a difficult task, as the situation is not as transparent as one would …show more content…
Choosing to initiate an investigation on the mental health of a patient can be difficult, as the only symptoms you observe are only physical. This makes it challenging for healthcare professionals to begin an investigation on an individual’s depression. Depression symptoms become difficult to recognize as the other conditions that commonly affect older adults share the same symptoms. An older adult is often more likely to deny, and not report any mental symptoms they may have regarding depression. Since they may view these feelings as a natural part of the aging process, or associate it with recent losses. They may see these feelings as a flaw in their character, or assume others will think less of them if they open up about these

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