Depression is not just “feeling blue” or “down in the dumps.” It is not just being sad after a loss. It is not an ordinary part of aging. Depression is a medical disorder — just like diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease — that requires attention. Day after day depression affects thoughts, feelings, physical health, and behaviors.(2)
For seniors living in the community, it is estimated that 5% to 10% will experience a depressive disorder that is serious enough to require treatment. And the rate of anxiety and depression dramatically increases to 30% to 40% for seniors living in institutions.
Most people with depression (over 80%) respond well to treatment and achieve a complete and lasting recovery. 90% will NOT seek out the help they need or their depression will be missed or ignored, denying them beneficial treatment for mental health problems.(1) The longer treatment is delayed; the more difficult depression is to treat. Remember, depression is not caused by personal weakness, laziness, or lack of will power; it is a medical illness that can be treated.