Older Adults and Depression
By Amy Ibbetson, LMLP, Prairie View
The myth about older adults and depression: Older adults are more likely than young adults to feel more depressed. Actually, studies show that older adults have lower rates of major depression and many other psychiatric disorders than do younger adults.
The wisdom that comes with age: It is believed that older adults tend to be better equipped to handle life stressors and setbacks than young adults. This may be due to a lifetime of learning various coping skills and exposure to multiple societal and personal stressors that have given them social and psychological resources to help protect them from depression.
What are the risk factors for depression in older adults? Studies have shown that as physical health problems increase, the risk for developing depressive symptoms increases. Other factors that may lead to depression in older adults include: