Geriatric Depression: Common Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Posted February 22, 2023 by in Health + Fitness
older woman with younger woman

Depression is a common mood disorder that can affect people of all ages. However, geriatric depression is more common in older adults. This type of depression can cause severe problems and may lead to suicide. It is essential to know the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options for geriatric depression. Our blog post will provide an overview of geriatric depression, including common symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. By understanding this condition, we can help those struggling with it get the help they need. Thanks for reading!

What Is Geriatric Depression, and Who Does It Affect?

Geriatric depression is a form of depression that affects older adults, usually those 65 years and older. It shares the exact characteristics of other forms of depression, such as feelings of worthlessness, emptiness, sadness, and lack of interest in activities. These symptoms can last weeks to months or even longer if untreated. Diagnosis of geriatric depression scale is based on clinical assessment and can be significantly affected by aging-related physical and social factors. Treatment is typically through an interdisciplinary team approach which includes various therapeutic modalities, as well as medications, if appropriate. Always consult a healthcare professional to know more if you think you or someone you know may be suffering from geriatric depression.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Geriatric Depression?

Geriatric depression is increasingly becoming a health concern for the elderly, with an estimated 6 million adults aged 65 or older struggling with depression. Common symptoms of geriatric depression include a change in sleeping and eating habits, low energy levels, decreased self-care, feelings of helplessness and worthlessness, exhaustion, and concentration problems. Sometimes, people also stop enjoying activities they like. Physical effects such as chronic pain and body aches can also be present. If these symptoms last for two weeks or longer, seeking professional help for diagnosis and treatment is advisable.

How Is Geriatric Depression Diagnosed?

Geriatric depression is a mental health disorder common among the elderly and can be challenging to diagnose due to its overlap with other age-related conditions. The most reliable way for a doctor to diagnose geriatric depression is through a comprehensive evaluation, which includes a physical examination and psychological screening tests. In general, clinicians rely on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria to identify depression in older adults, including details about symptoms and duration of illness that support making an accurate diagnosis. Patients must be honest and open with their provider during the consultation to ensure they receive a proper diagnosis. With the right care plan and resources, many older adults can experience positive outcomes while living well with geriatric depression.

What Are the Treatment Options for Geriatric Depression?

Treatments for geriatric depression can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Talking therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and problem-solving therapy are often used to help patients understand and challenge their negative thoughts, enabling them to manage better how they feel. In more severe cases, medication may be prescribed by a medical professional, with common antidepressant drugs including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Doctors may also suggest lifestyle changes such as improved diet, activity, and sleep habits. Whatever the treatment approach, it’s important to note that it may take time before any progress is seen – support from loved ones is often essential during this period.

Are There Any Home Remedies That Can Help With Geriatric Depression Symptoms?

Geriatric depression, a form of major depression that develops in older adults, affects up to 20% of people aged 65 and over globally. Symptoms of geriatric depression vary, but common ones include feelings of sadness, insomnia or oversleeping, fatigue, hopelessness, and a decreased interest in activities you used to enjoy. Doctors typically diagnose geriatric depression using self-reported assessment tests and physical examinations. However, there are some things you can do at home to help reduce the symptoms. Some evidence suggests that exercise, participating in social activities, and adequate sunlight exposure may help lessen the severity of geriatric depression symptoms. Additionally, talking to loved ones or speaking with a therapist can benefit many seniors who are enduring this disorder. While these home remedies may not relieve everyone or every symptom associated with geriatric depression, they could help those suffering from milder forms of the condition.

Geriatric depression is a real and serious problem that affects many older adults. If you or someone you know is experiencing typical symptoms of this condition, seeking professional help is vital. Several treatment options are available, so there’s no need to suffer in silence. With proper diagnosis and treatment, people with geriatric depression can lead wholesome, happy lives.