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Depression The Unaddressed Disease In Older People

November 11, 2012  by: Paulose  Points: 15   Category: Health    Views: 394

Depression is a serious disease that goes unnoticed. It is increasing in great number due to the modern changes in lifestyle. It is very important to treat this disease, especially in older people.

         

Depression is an unaddressed disease. People take medicines for physical ailments. But most of the depressed people do not care to view depression as a disease or take medicines to solve the problems or symptoms of depression. In older people it is more important to diagnose and defeat depression, because untreated depression will cause more problems in their physical and mental health.

The World Health Organization has stated that depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, affecting more than 121 million people. WHO has warned that it is increasing in the modern lifestyle making it the third leading contributor to many diseases.

Depression in old people

1) Old people are more affected by depression because of their changes in their later life. Retirement, death of loved ones, increased isolation, medical problems, etc. cause depression in them. It has great impact on their energy, sleep, appetite, and physical health. If untreated it leads to more serious complications.

2) Old people lose their balance and fall
There is a complex relationship between physical and mental health. Studies say that old people with depression are more likely to fall. Their vision is impaired and they lose their physical balance because of their untreated depression.

3) Depression leads to inactivity and its adverse results
Generally depression in old people leads to inactivity. this results in withdrawal from friends and pleasurable activities. This inactivity leads to loss of muscle strength and a state of deconditioning.

Depression can be diagnozed

1) Although there are chances for depression in elders going unnoticed, their physical and mental forms may reveal it. They have generalized pain, fatigue, and gastric disorders.

2) They may experience unexplained weight loss or gain. They may show unsteady appetite or sleep. They may reveal feelings of guilt or worthlessness.

3) Sometimes old people with depression may not be able to explain it to a doctor. it is found in elderly people to bear with complaints.

Depression can be treated

1) There is a misunderstanding that depression can be cured by itself like cold or minor ailments. It needs to be treated like diabetes or hypertension. Untreated depression may lead to cardiovascular diseases. Nowadays effective treatments are available everywhere.

2) If they take antidepressants, it should closely be monitored because some of them have impact on heart beat.

3) Alternative therapies and non-drug treatments such as interpersonal and cognitive behavioral therapy can be more effective.

Depression in elderly people is not a physical weakness or a character defect. It can be treated with the right support. Treatment of depression and self-help strategies can make elders live a happier and more vibrant life.




Comment(s)
Author: Xavier        
Posted Date: 11/17/2012    Points:2    

Thank you Paulose for the informative article. We have 39 elderly persons (both men and women) in our senior citizens'' home. Your article made me more aware of their psychological condition. I am going to raise these points in our next management meeting.

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