The prevailing thinking that for older people the depression is normal is quite wrong. The truth is exactly opposite, because many older people are satisfied with their lives. When the elderly develop depression it is because of changes associated with aging. Unrecognized and untreated depression can bring families and elderly patients who would otherwise live a full life unnecessary suffering. Older people often complain to the doctor mainly about their personal problems and are reluctant to talk about their feelings such as despair, sadness, loss of interest in activities they usually love or an unusually long mourning after the death of a close person.
Symptoms of depression are sometimes masked by symptoms of another disease. If you are aware, you can recognize depression at an early stage and treat it successfully. By starting treatment as quickly as possible one is able to reduce the possibility that the disease becomes chronic and more prominent.
Some symptoms of depression may be a result from adverse drug reactions that patients take for some other (physical) disease. However, these symptoms can also cause other diseases which occur as a result of untreated depression.
When an elderly is diagnosed with depression it is best to start treatment with drugs and / or psychotherapy. Research has shown that a brief psychotherapy can reduce short-term depressive symptoms. Brief psychotherapy helps in everyday relationships or in learning how to prevent distorted negative thinking that often accompanies depression. Psychotherapy is also useful for elderly patients who cannot or won’t take any medication.