SSC 103 Late-Life Depression - Research Paper

SSC 103 Late-Life Depression - Research Paper - Late-Life...

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Late-Life Depression A Look into Causes, Effects, and Treatments of Senior Citizens Suffering With Depression Giovanni Ravalli SSC 103 12/13/2006
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Ravalli : 1 Depression is becoming a common problem these days. This can be attributed to many things in our everyday lives. The effects of depression are often debilitating, painful, distressing, and indescribable for those afflicted with the disease and sadly, can be fatal. A recently discovered problem involving depression is on the rise. This new phenomenon is called Late-Life Depression. This is the type of depression is experienced by the elderly population. The symptoms are more or less the same as depression with few differences. The similarities and differences of late-life depression and depression will be discussed here as well as what the disease is and the symptoms, causes, effects, its stigma, interesting findings and the available treatments of the disease. As stated before, late-life depression is a disease in which senior citizens (those ages 60 and over) experience depression. However, there are differences between late- life depression and depression experienced by the younger population. Many people believe that depression is a normal part of aging which simply isn’t true. Depression is not normal for anyone at any age and neither are the effects on the body. It has been found in an 18-month study of 78 older Americans (22 were depressed and 56 were not depressed) that the ones who were depressed had an inhibited ability to generate enough white blood cells to fight off an infection. Late-Life Depression sufferers tend to exhibit more psychosomatic symptoms such as aches and pains in various parts of the body. This may or may not be part of the disease but there seems to be a strong link between the two. It has been shown that late-life depression is often co morbid with medical illnesses like arthritis, cancer and a myriad of other physically debilitating diseases. It has also been shown that depressed
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Ravalli : 2 seniors experience worsening or lingering symptoms of a physical medial condition as a result of their depression. As if that were enough, depressed seniors are more disabled and tend to recover or rehabilitate more poorly from medical illnesses, for example a stroke or fall, than their non-depressed peers. The symptoms of late-life depression are very similar to commonly experienced depression in that the afflicted suffer from similar symptoms. These symptoms include but are not limited to sadness, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, social isolation and psychosomatic symptoms. Even though both depression and late-life depression sufferers experience psychosomatic symptoms, it’s important to note that these symptoms are more frequently seen in those with late-life depression. Both forms of depression are very distressing to the sufferer and can alter perception about whether things can get better or not. It can leave the person feeling hopeless and unsure whether
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course SSC 103 taught by Professor N/a during the Fall '06 term at SUNY Buffalo.

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SSC 103 Late-Life Depression - Research Paper - Late-Life...

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