Seniors and Depression
Most people who commit suicide have a mental disorder, most commonly a depressive disorder or a substance abuse disorder.
In general, only about three percent of the elderly living independently in the community will experience depression. That figure increases to around 20 to 30 percent of persons in nursing homes or with chronic illnesses like emphysema, heart disease or diabetes.
Grief moves in and out of stages from disbelief and denial, to anger and guilt, to finding a source of comfort, to eventually adjusting to the loss.
The unrealistic expectations of the season, time and financial pressures, missing loved ones and reflecting on past events as the year comes to an end all contribute to the blues.
You may have depression if you have a persistent sad or "empty" mood, or if you find it difficult to concentrate or make decisions.
People with heart disease are at increased risk for serious depression — and, unfortunately, many of them don’t know it.