The Leaders in TMS Gaithersburg Break Down Everything You Need to Know About Depression in Elderly Populations
Despite common belief, depression is not considered a ‘normal part’ of aging. While common due to a number of life changes that occur during late adulthood, the brain does not naturally make changes that lead to depression and other issues in elderly patients. At the leaders of TMS Gaithersburg, the Psych Associates of Maryland know how to tackle depression in a number of at-risk populations. That’s why we’re here to break down everything you need to know about depression in older adults. From risk factors to treatment, this information will half you gain a better understanding of the need of older populations facing depression.
It’s easy for young and healthy people to suggest that an older family member may feel depressed. After all older adult adults enter a new stage of life which - much like college students or adults entering parenthood - brings a new set of challenges and stressors to the table.
Many studies show that older people tend to feel more satisfied with their lives than many younger people despite these challenges. Even so, late-life depression affects about 6 million Americans ages 65 and older. Of these 6 million people, only about 10% end up getting treatment for depression due to the belief that depression late in life is normal and not as urgent.
There are a number of risk factors that increase a person’s likelihood of experiencing depression late in life, including:
All in all, the major life changes that occur in late adulthood can lead to depression. Whether this is losing a spouse or sibling, retiring, or learning that the person has a chronic illness, these types of life changes can be detrimental to mental health.
Depression is often difficult to spot in older adults, says the deader in TMS Gaithersburg, because the symptoms differ from those experienced by young people. Sadness is not always the main symptom for older adults, but rather, symptoms like fatigue, irritability, and insomnia come to the forefront. Additionally, feelings of confusion and attention issues caused by Alzheimer’s are often confused for depression.
Not only is depression difficult to identify in older adults due to its manifestations, but because older adults are sometimes less inclined to talk about their feelings and struggles than younger people. Not wanted to cause concern for loved ones or exacerbate other health issues keeps many elderly people from expressing their feelings of depression.
However, not talking about it can be notably problematic. Not only can depression inhibit a person’s ability to rehabilitate after surgery or a fall, but depression is associated with an increased risk of death following a heart attack in older adults.
Similarly, older adults are at an increased risk for vascular depression, or depression that is related to a decreased blood flow to the brain (ischemia). This is more common in someone who has no history of depression in their family.
Older adults suffering from depression are often unable to get depression help because their loved ones aren’t always sure what to look for. However, it’s important to tackle depression head-on in order to start feeling like yourself. Some options for treating depression with Psych Associates of Maryland - the leaders in TMS Gaithersburg - include:
Think you or a loved one could benefit from treatment for depression? Get in touch with the team at Psych Associates of Maryland today to get started.
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