Depression and Aging
8 April 2013
Depression and Aging Major Depressive Disorder is a condition characterized by one or more major depressive episodes without a history of manic, mixed, or hypomanic episodes. It is medical condition that can cause a wide variety of psychological and physical symptoms. It can be distinguished from ordinary sadness and grief because depression is persistent, interfering with daily activities and relationships. Depression appears in different people, and they are affected in different ways. Some have trouble sleeping, they lose weight, and may feel agitated and irritable. Others may sleep and eat too much and continuously feel worthless and guilty. Still others can function reasonably well at work and put on a happy face in front of others, while deep down they feel quite depressed and disinterested in life. The risk of suffering from a major depressive episode at some time during a person’s life is up to 12 percent for men and 25 percent for women. In the United States alone, 3.4% of people with major depression successfully commit suicide. That isn’t even included the others in the country who have attempted, but failed. Depression isn’t bias, it will affect anyone of any age. Although the exact cause of depression is still uncertain, studies suggest that depression is accompanied by changes in neurochemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. “These neurochemicals allow cells to communicate with each other and play an essential role in all brain functions, including movement, sensation, memory, and emotions. That depression affects the brain is supported by the results of genetic studies and the response of depression to drug therapy and other therapies that alter levels of brain neurochemicals.” (Lyness, Jeffrey M) In addition to the brain, social factors can also be involved such as isolation and criticism from peers or family members. Loss and interpersonal problems can also
Cited: Rao, T. Sathyanarayana, and K. Shaji. "Demographic aging: Implications for mental health." Indian Journal of Psychiatry 49.2 (2007) 2008: 283+. Psychology Collection. Web. 9 Feb. 2013.