As we are getting older we continue to grow and develop. What new possibilities are there, and what is no longer all that possible ? It is also a time to look back on life and review and learn. We seek a feeling of fulfillment. Success at these tasks bring a sense of wisdom and failure results in regret, bitterness and despair.
Physical health issues increase as we age and so can mental health disorders, particularly depression. It is important to eliminate the stigma of mental illness and treatment, promote healthy aging strategies, and increase access to quality mental health care for the elderly.
Elderly people do face noteworthy challenges through loss, illness and other transitions and also face medical vulnerability and mortality. For the elderly population depression can come in different sizes and shapes. Depression in older persons is at times characterized by:
- memory problems
- social withdrawal
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- vague complaints of pain
- inability to sleep
- delusions (fixed false beliefs)