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  Depression and Seniors

Depression affects nearly 6 million people in the U.S. over the age or 65. Unfortunately, research shows that only 10% of these individuals receive treatment. Many people simply assume that loneliness, sadness and other behavioral clues to depression are just a normal part of getting older. They are not.

Depression and anxiety in senior citizens is caused by a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is a condition that has been with them most of their life. Other times, it only starts after they have lost their spouse or other parts of their support network or when they are dealing with difficult health problems.

What things put seniors at risk for depression?

  • Certain medicines or combination of medicines
  • Other illnesses
  • Living alone, social isolation
  • Recent bereavement
  • Presence of chronic or severe pain
  • Damage to body image (from amputation, cancer surgery, or heart attack)
  • Fear of death
  • Previous history of depression
  • Family history of major depressive disorder
  • Past suicide attempt(s)
  • Substance abuse