It is suggested that depression is caused by a chemical change in the brain, which can be triggered by a stressful event. Although the exact cause is unknown, the symptoms of this mood disorder are extremely apparent. In elderly patients, the feelings of sadness, loss, anger, and frustration can be overwhelming and greatly impact their everyday lives. If your patients have become more withdrawn and irritable, it is important you consider depression as the reason why. Many questionnaires are available to help determine whether your patient has depression and how severe the condition may be. Varying levels of depression can lead to multiple patient situations. For example, the feature case report Impact of Depression on Medication Compliance hi-lights an important issue that arises from depression in older patients. Occasionally, one illness may lead to another, as seen in the article Depression in a Patient With Alzheimer’s Disease. Please visit Clinical Geriatrics for more information about depression and treatment for older patients.
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