Myths & Facts About Depression in the Elderly

Myths & Facts About Depression in the Elderly

1. Myth: Older adults feel depressed because of psychological stress –
Fact: Depression can happen due to several factors like health problems, loneliness, lack of purpose, financial problems causing fear, as side effect of medications, loss of dear ones etc. The elderly have to face a lot of physical changes, psychological changes and societal changes which disrupts their normal life and triggers depression.


2. Myth: Older adults experience different types of depression symptoms
Fact: Apart from some rare cases, most of the time, the experiences of older adults are similar to young adults who are suffering from depression or mental anxiety. The bodily symptoms associated with depression, such as changes in appetite, sleep, and energy level and body aches and pains may be more visible in elderly people.
3. Myth: Depression in the elderly is a common age-related issue
Fact: Depression is not an age-related issue. The rate of depression in young adults is more than in the elderly although it can be more severe amongst the elderly.


4. Myth: It is hard to treat depression in the elderly
Fact: In case of senior citizens, it is quite useful when someone listens to their problems. They like to share their experiences with others and much more willing to stay in touch with things like technology than we give them credit for. They respond very positively to the counselling process and learning new activities that can help in coping depression.


5. Myth: Elders with depression are suffering from Dementia
Fact: Memory loss and loss of cognitive function are not always attributed to dementia, and sometimes there is even an organic cause for absent-mindedness or lack of memory. Depression is one of the signs of Dementia but cannot be assumed without a doctor’s consultation.

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