It’s usually missed
Depression is very common in the later years but it is usually missed and the symptoms wrongly attributed to normal aging. Society has come to expect depression to occur in later years and so it is ignored. This is much like the neglect of adolescent depression since it too has been considered normal for that age group.
The incidence of depression increases with age. It is presumed that this is caused by a decline in the level of nerve cell chemicals. This decline seems to be much worse if another unrelated chronic illness is present. Up to thirty percent of stroke victims will become chemically depressed. There is also an increasing level of stress and number of losses in later years which could precipitate depression. The rate of successful suicide reaches its peak in the elderly age group.
The elderly should be treated for depression in the same aggressive way as those in other age groups. They will respond to medications too. It is important to be watching for depression in the elderly since their quality of life and that of their care taking relatives can be greatly improved with proper treatment of such a common condition. There is also strong evidence that a depressed mood will predispose one to more physical illnesses. After a heart attack for example, the risk of another attack is much greater in those who are depressed.
Depression can be easily confused with senility and can be found along with senility. It is important to treat depression as an independent condition since it will respond to treatment at any age.
What do I do next?
We have lots of resources to help you assess yourself for depression, anxiety or mood swings. These resources will also help you understand the conditions so you can help a loved one.
Throughout my medical career I noticed that Christians suffered from depression differently than non Christians. You can download my article that describes this difference and why it happens in How depression affects Christians.
Personal coaching appointments are available where we can meet online or by phone. I will answer your questions about mood disorders and explain the recovery process.
Emotionally Free – The first third of the book explains the nature and treatment of mood disorders from a Christian perspective and includes the symptom checklists for self assessment. The rest of the book explains problems with our personality and spirit.
Have a look at these DVDs/CDs/direct downloads – watch 5 minute previews online
Depression, The Path to Recovery As 2 disc of 10 TV interviews with Dr. Mullen where he explains a Christian understanding of depression, anxiety and mood swings. Our most popular DVD.
Moods, what Christians should know about depression, anxiety and mood swings Christians are often very confused and misinformed about the nature and treatment of mental illnesses. They are also very suspicious of psychiatric treatments, so many are suffering needlessly from correctable conditions. This presentation will remove the mystery and confusion about the diagnosis and treatment of depression, anxiety and mood swings.
Fear, When Trust is Lost You will get the tools to overcome and take control of the worries and fears that disrupt your life.
Free Q&A videos
Why do I feel so far from God when I’m depressed?
How do I know if I need medications for my mood?
How do I know if my depression has been healed?
How long do I need to stay on antidepressants?
What is the ultimate cure for worry?
- What causes mood disorders?
- What is the treatment for mood disorders?
- Has depression become an epidemic?
- What is depression?
- What causes depression?
- What are the symptoms of depression?
- How does depression affect marriages?
- Does Menopause cause Depression?
- Is Adolescent Depression just a Normal Phase?
- Is it Normal for the Elderly to be Depressed?
- What is Anxiety Disorder and OCD?
- What is the ultimate cure for worry?
- What is bipolar disorder?
- You Mean I can’t Drink Coffee?
- What are the Christmas blues?