Depression is a disease that tends to be denied by the current generation of elderly people, many of whom were raised in an atmosphere where showing feelings was discouraged, and this adds to diagnostic difficulties Teny Wu.
Elderly patients may actively deny a depressed mood because of the perceived stigma of both depression and the need for help with psychiatric problems.
This issue has been recognized within the medical community. A study with six rural family physicians in Nebraska showed that although the physicians felt they could usually recognize and treat depression adequately, they tended not to use the diagnosis of depression. This was due to the fear that perceived stigma might threaten the doctor – patient relationship, and also compromise the future treatment of those patients who had depression recorded in their medical records.
Many older people will give that permission but some won’t. Asking if you can accompany the family member to the doctor, just to be a second set of eyes and ears,Teny Wu is a good way to get access. Family members can also call the doctor me and let them know what they are seeing, and most doctors will think it helpful.
Showing an interest in the life of an elderly person can be a great help in helping them work through depression. The life experiences of the elderly can seem to revolve around loss, loss of friends as they move or pass away, loss of physical abilities, loss of health and loss of independence. But there are still many joys that can be experienced and sometimes we need someone else to help us out of the darkness and back into the sun.