Depression in elderly
Goktas, K. (2006) Depression in elderly. Psychiatry in Turkiye, 8 (1). pp. 30-37.
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Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in the elderly population. Several studies indicate that 10-25% of people over 65 years suffer from significant depressive symptoms. Depression in the elderly population is a major public health problem. As a highly prevalent disorder, depression, is frequently comorbid with medical illnesses, has a negative impact on the quality of life, increases the number of visits to different medical services, and carries a high risk of suicide, especially in men. Despite these factors, depression in the elderly is underrecognized, particulary in primary care practices, general hospitals, and nursing homes. The etiology of depression in the elderly is clearly multifactorial and several important contributory risk factors have been identified, including normal aging process, medical illnesses, deficiency of essential nutrients, drug therapy, psychosocial influences and genetical factors. Elderly depression is different from depression of young and middle aged patients; somatic complaints and cognitive impairment are frequent symptoms of depression of the elderly population. All available antidepressant medications have equal efficacy in treating depression in the elderly. Selection of an agent is usually made due to the safety and tolerability of the drug and the presence of other comorbid medical conditions. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitörs (SSRI) are generally considered as the first line of treatment of depression in the elderly population
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