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Depression Management for Older Adults

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What do I need to know about depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes feelings of sadness or hopelessness that do not go away. You may lose interest in things you used to enjoy. Depression is not a normal part of aging. Treatment can help improve your daily life.

What causes or increases my risk for depression?

Depression may be caused by changes in brain chemicals that affect your mood. Your risk for depression may be higher if you have any of the following:

What are the signs and symptoms of depression?

How is depression diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and how long you have had them. Your provider will ask if you have any family members with depression. Tell your provider about any stressful events in your life. Your provider may ask about any other health conditions or medicines you take. You may need tests to rule out conditions that can look like depression. Examples include dementia or Alzheimer disease.

How is depression treated?

What can I do to manage depression?

The following resources are available at any time to help you, if needed:

Where can I find support or more information?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.