Depression in our Older Adults presents differently to young adults

I recently read this article on the experience our older adults have with depression. It is a well written article detailing the differences older adults experience with depression.

The publishers, National Institute of Aging, shares “Depression in older adults may be difficult to recognize because older people may have different symptoms than younger people. For some older adults with depression, sadness is not their main symptom. They could instead be feeling more of a numbness or a lack of interest in activities. They may not be as willing to talk about their feelings. “

Research is showing intervention early on after the onset of some of these symptoms prevents serious deterioration later on, even suicidal thoughts. This could be as simple as regularly asking how they are, and truly listening to their answer.

challenge with the article is their reference to using different treatment for depression in older adults always has a medical base ie anti depressants. Current research – ie 2022 publications, is clearly showing anti-depressants on their own are not effective in treating depression in younger adults vs older adults. The author has not included these findings in their article. Hypnotherapy is well evidenced in its efficacy in treating depression.

Depression emotions and behaviours are often all consuming for anyone who experiences them. Hoping these experiences will go away on their own is no more effective for the elderly member of the family as it is for a child.

When we think about therapy and depression, it might be more helpful to view therapy as an opportunity to learn what we do to keep the depression experiences with us, as well as what we can learn to reduce their returning or overwhelming us again. Nothing is wrong with us when we experience depression – we just have more to learn.

Talk to a psychotherapist or psychologist to decide which options are likely to help you the most. Then talk to your GP to see if anti depressants need to be added to your approach.

To read the full article – click here