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Geriatric Depression (Depression in Older Adults)

0 2 years ago

Older adults are more likely to suffer from subsyndromal depression. This type of depression doesn’t always meet the full criteria for major depression. However, it can lead to major depression if left untreated.

Depression in older adults can reduce quality of life, and it increases risk of suicide. Read on to learn about symptoms to watch for and treatment options.


Causes of geriatric depression

There is no single cause of depression in any age group. Some research indicates that there could be a genetic link to the disease. However, biological, social, and psychological factors all play a role in depression in older adults.

Research suggests that the following may contribute to depression:

  • low levels of key neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain (such as serotonin and norepinephrine)
  • a family history of depression
  • traumatic life events, such as abuse or the death of a loved one

Complications associated with aging may contribute to depression in older adults. These problems can include:

  • limited mobility
  • isolation
  • facing mortality
  • transitioning from work to retirement
  • financial hardships
  • prolonged substance abuse
  • deaths of friends and loved ones
  • widowhood or divorce
  • chronic medical conditions

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