A: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 18 million Americans live with depression, and more than a third of them are older than 65. But only an estimated 10 percent of those 6 million people receive treatment.
Some older adults may feel down or blue from time to time, but that is different from depression. Those living with depression have severe feelings of sadness nearly every day for at least two weeks.
Several factors may contribute to depression, including family history, certain chemical imbalances, major life changes, health conditions, abuse of alcohol or drugs, and use of certain medications.
There are several types of depression, also known as depressive disorders: major depression, seasonal affective disorder, dysthymia, and bipolar disorder. Symptoms of depression come in many forms and may include:
Loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy.
Feeling empty, worthless, or unloved.
Experiencing aches and pains.
Feeling fatigued, tired, or sluggish.
Change in appetite and sleep.
Antidepressants and therapy are common treatment options. Exercise has also been shown to be effective. Brain-stimulation therapy is another option. Depression can usually be treated successfully without hospitalization.
If you recognize depression symptoms in yourself or a loved one, contact your doctor immediately to begin planning a treatment regimen.
Full Article: http://articles.philly.com/2016-01-24/news/70038703_1_major-depression-antidepressants-and-therapy-depression-symptoms