Depression affects people of all ages, but is both more common and more serious for those over sixty. As many as half of all nursing home residents have depression, as do up to 40 percent of those who visit primary care clinics. Late-life depression is a disease with unique risk factors. Health problems, physical limitations, the loss of loved ones, and fears about financial issues all contribute to an increased incidence of depression, which, despite its prevalence, is not a normal part of the aging process. It can intensify existing medical conditions such as chronic pain and is far more likely to lead to suicide than does depression in younger people. There is good news, however: 80 percent of older people who receive treatment for depression make a complete recovery and enjoy fulfilling lives.In Living Longer Depression Free, Mark D. Miller, M.D., and Charles F. Reynolds III, M.D., draw on their considerable experience in geriatric psychiatry to help elderly persons, their families, and their physicians accurately diagnose and treat late-life depression. This comprehensive, up-to-date guide begins with a discussion of the different types of depression, their causes, and symptoms. The authors then describe how doctors evaluate depression; present the treatment options available to patients today, including psychotherapy, medication, and alternative treatments; and offer strategies for achieving long-term mental health. Each chapter opens with a list of frequently asked questions and uses case studies to personalize the information provided, and the book closes with a useful list of resources for further information, including hotlines and websites.Compassionate and accessible, Living Longer Depression Free is an invaluable guide for older people and their families striving to overcome this debilitating disease and prevent its recurrence.
Health, Mind & Body, General,