Why Elderly Depression Can Be Hard to Detect
It's estimated that about 6 1/2 million seniors suffer from clinical depression. Though many seniors
experience depression as the result of ongoing medical issues, depression can also arise as a result of
recent deaths of friends and family members, anxieties about death, or social isolation. Regardless of
the cause, elderly depression is often harder to detect than it is in younger people, because the signs
tend to be either confused with other conditions or overlooked. Here are some common depression
symptoms that elderly people exhibit:
Seniors can be confronted with numerous deaths of family members, friends, and others who are
important to them. Though grief is a common emotion during such times, deep depression is a more
serious sense of loss. The grieving process is normally filled with both highs and lows, while
depression is typically characterized as a constant sense of sadness or loss without relent.
Isolation or Withdrawal
Elderly people with depression will often isolate themselves from friends or family or abandon
activities they previously enjoyed. Though this can often be confused as gruffness or even mean-
spiritedness, it's often a sign that the elderly person is feeling alone and depressed.
Loss of Appetite and Sleeplessness
Some elderly people with depression will experience weight loss because they don't really feel like
eating anymore. This is often accompanied by disrupted sleep patterns or sleeping disorders that
prevent the elderly person from obtaining enough sleep every night.
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