Why Many Seniors Are Not Getting the Depression Treatment They Need

People can experience depression at any age. But older adults, especially those over the age of 65, have an increased risk for depression. A lifetime of experiences, loss of loved ones, pain and illness, reduced abilities, and worry about aging and death are significant challenges adults face as they get older, and they can contribute to depression.

Yet depression is underdiagnosed in seniors, and many of the older adults who experience depression do not get the help they need to manage the symptoms. Estimates place the number of people in this demographic living with a mental health condition at around 25%, but only 30% of those people are getting the necessary treatment.

What Makes Older Adults Less Likely to Get a Depression Diagnosis

With the available treatments like depression medication, talk therapy, TMS, and more, depression is highly treatable. But getting an effective treatment plan requires working with a psychiatrist in Dallas to determine what mental health conditions may be reducing your quality of life.

There are multiple reasons why adults in the older demographic do not get a diagnosis for depression include:

  • Stigma Around Mental Health – At this point, more seniors are from the Baby Boomer generation that was characterized by independence. Mental health faced extreme stigma for most of their lives. These factors can make admitting you need help with depression something you may feel unsure about.
  • Lack of Social Support – People moving away, the deaths of friends and loved ones, and busy lifestyles often lead to elderly adults being more isolated. Not only can this increase depression, but it can also make it more difficult to identify your depression and get the emotional support that can help reduce depression.
  • Misunderstanding Depression Symptoms – The mental and physical symptoms of depression are the same as many illnesses that are common in seniors. These include appetite changes, trouble sleeping, and memory and concentration issues, which you or even some doctors can mistake as another health issue.
  • Thinking Depression is a Normal Factor in Aging – Some people believe depression is unavoidable as they get older, and there is no option but to power through it.

In reality, depression is not something you have to live with at any age. There are resources and treatments that can help. Dr. Sehdev is a Dallas psychiatrist who provides a supportive and welcoming environment while using the latest treatments for depression. We design a treatment plan around your background, symptoms, and any other health conditions you may have. Call the office to schedule your appointment.

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