Many well-intentioned physicians sometimes overlook the signs of late life depression. This is because some of the symptoms seen in young people are less apparent or absent in older adults. The classic signs of depression include:
A person who suffers some or all of these symptoms nearly every day for more than two weeks may be experiencing clinical depression. Older adults with depression may not always display these classic signs but instead may show signs of dementia, complain of bodily aches and pains, or feel agitated, anxious, or irritable. Because many symptoms of depression are seen as part of other ailments or ignored altogether, an assessment by an informed mental health professional is essential
(From Mental Health Ministries, “Mental Illness in Older Adults: An Opportunity for Spiritual Growth” by Susan Gregg-Schroeder. Used by permission. For more help on this topic, download the complete brochure (PDF).
Mental Health Ministries also has a short segment on depression in older adults on its video/DVD, Creating Caring Congregations.” To order, go to Mental Health Ministries.
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