Frequently Asked Questions About Depression In Older Adults

In statistics, it is reported that the most number of people dealing with mental health issues, particularly anxiety and depression, are the ones whose ages are 20 to 30 years old. But despite that fact, it does not mean that children, teens, and older adults are exempted. Based on relevant data from studies and research, older adults are actually prone to depression. But not in a way like the majority deals with mental health, but in a portion where they tend to suffer from the mental condition because they grow old.

Yes, older adults struggle with depression because of a lot of factors. And in these frequently asked questions below, we will touch more about those details.


What is the most common cause of depression in older adults? 

The following risk factors that often cause depression in the elderly include certain types of drugs or a combination of different medications. Sometimes, damage to the body, such as cancer surgery, amputation, or a heart attack, can increase older adults’ level of depression. Family history of major depressive disorder or genetics also plays a role. Lastly, social isolation, living alone, and fear of death can contribute to mental illness.

 How does depression in older adults differ from depression in younger adults? 

Depression impacts older people differently due to a lot of factors. Some of which often occur along with disabilities and other medical illnesses that tend to lasts longer. Usually, older adults suffer severely from mental health, particularly with depressive symptoms, due to their fears and worries about their health conditions such as stroke, heart disease, or cancer.

Older adults are more focused on physical health. Thus they tend to worry a lot. Meanwhile, younger adults are still on the verge of figuring out the importance of their overall wellness.

 How does retirement affect the elderly? 

Generally, retirement leads to a larger decline in physical health outcomes, especially in males. That is because some of them suffer from self-reported health difficulties that affect their illness conditions and mobility. Also, conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke are at high risk. With these occurrences, male older adults experience a post-retirement void. Often, these old adults feel like their engagement in society is already in the end structure. Thus, these thoughts give them a strong overwhelming feeling that escalates into severe depression.

That particular mental health makes the older adults isolate themselves. With depression from retirement, they tend to withdraw themselves from the world around them because they get stuck with the idea that their life already ends there and that death is near. Most older adults believe that there is not enough time for them to celebrate life.

 What are the psychological problems of the elderly? 

The most common mental health problems that older adults experienced are Anxiety Disorders, Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, PTSD, and Depression. In some instances, the elderly also suffer from uncontrollable anger, substance abuse, and stress-related health problems. Also, older adults experience common cognitive impairment and other mental dysfunction such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s

 What is the safest antidepressant for the elderly? 

Like any other medications, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the newer antidepressants are all relatively safe in the elderly. Examples of these medicines are mirtazapine, moclobemide, bupropion, and venlafaxine. But some antidepressants work fine with others but are dangerous to the elderly. These are amitriptyline and dothiepin or known as Tricyclic antidepressants. The elderly should avoid these drugs, for there is a risk of taking an overdose.

It would help if older adults sought proper treatment despite their belief that it is unnecessary. They have to consider making an effort in therapy sessions and medications.


 What exact age is considered old for a woman? 

A researcher found that once you reach the age of 73 to 73 for women, you are considered old. The United Nations has agreed that old age in a female should be 65+ years. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) set the age 55 as the beginning of older women’s old age.

 What are the signs of a nervous breakdown? 

Nervous breakdown symptoms include insomnia or sleep problems, hallucinations, extreme mood swings, unexplained outbursts, anxiety with high blood pressure, dizziness, upset stomach, trembling, and tense muscles. Sometimes, depressive symptoms increase the loss of hope and thoughts of self-harm or suicide. It is significantly important to take a moment to acknowledge the symptoms and seek professional help immediately.

 Does depression make you age faster? 

Some studies show the brain’s dysfunction when depressed. There is a high tendency that the brain physically ages faster than those who are mentally okay. Depression can physically change a person’s brain and leave it more susceptible to all sorts of illnesses associated with old age.

But of course, not all cases of depression are like that. Some of them are manageable too. But then again, it requires a lot of effort to get rid of it before it becomes a big deal.

 Can depression in the elderly mimic dementia? 

Often, older people who are depressed appear to have trouble sleeping, tired, or seem grumpy and irritable. The warning sign of emotional distress or depression can all produce symptoms that can be mistaken as early signs of dementia. It also goes along with memory and communication difficulties as well as behavioral changes. Also, attention problems caused by depression can often look like Alzheimer’s disease or other brain disorders.

 What are the negative effects of retirement? 

Retirement usually leads to a significant decline in physical health, especially with men. Many individuals’ results indicate that absolute retirement reaches a 5-16 percent increase in complications connected with critical thinking, problem-solving, mobility, and daily functions. Retirement increases the odds of suffering from major or clinical depression. Often, the individual gets stuck with the idea that he now lacks purpose.

 How do you help the elderly who cope with retirement? 

The ways you can help the elderly adjust to their retirement better and feel fulfilled and happy during this chapter of their lives are through optimism and effort. Expect that these old adults will go through a series of emotional stages that they cannot often understand. Thus, it would be best to guide them to set small goals. That way, they can structure their days and live their lives according to their heart’s desire. Allow the elderly to grow their friendship so that they will feel that they are not alone.

Honestly, there is no greater way to help them than to be there for them. Friends and family should provide comfort, safety, understanding, and unconditional love to the elderly because that is all they want in their limited time.

 What happens to the brain when you retire? 

Some studies point out that there is a correlation between retirement and poorer health. When older adults tend to stop or alter their routines, they experience a decline in cognitive functioning. Sometimes, it results in as much as double the rate of cognitive aging. Thus, they become more susceptible to a greater risk of developing various types of mental illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


 What is the most common psychiatric disorder in the elderly? 

The most general neurological and mental disorders that the elderly experience are depression and dementia. These two particular psychological problems affect approximately 5% and 7% of the globe’s older population, respectively. But elderly mental health conditions are not limited to dementia and depression only for some of them also experience anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and bipolar disorders.

 What are the most common psychiatric illnesses in the elderly? 

The most common psychiatric illness in the elderly is depression. Usually, older adults’ mood disorders get associated with distress and emotional suffering. The severity of their mental health condition often leads to several impairments in physical and social functioning. But aside from depression, quite several elderly also experience complications due to anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and bipolar disorders.

 What are the major old age problems?

Some of the major old age problems include malnutrition, faulty diet, gluttony, intoxications, infectious, inadequate rest, overwork, emotional stress, and an unpleasant way of living. Medical conditions like stroke, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are among the most common to older adults causing two-thirds of the populations’ deaths each year.


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