Depression is a mental condition characterized by chronic sadness and a lack of interest. All depressive illnesses are characterized by feelings of melancholy, emptiness, or irritability, followed by physical and cognitive changes that considerably impair the individual’s ability to function (Chand and Arif).
Depression is prevalent in the senior population, with prevalence rates of depressive symptomatology at 17.1% in those 75 and older and 19.5% in those 50 and older, according to meta-analyses (Maier et al.). Multiple considerations need to be investigated in the investigation of the causes of depression in the elderly independently (Maier et al.). First, the prevalence of potentially significant risk factors such as grief, social alienation, disability, and somatic disorders increases with age (Maier et al.). Secondly, the study by Maier et al. indicates that depression in older age is either a precursor to a risk factor for later dementia. Thirdly, the outlook for depression in later life seems to be more prevalent among the elderly in contrast to youth (Maier et al.). This demonstrates the drastic need for change in the elderly treatment and screening of depression.
Depression is a disorder that negatively affects the quality of life as people become lethargic, lessen their social contacts, and become prevalent in suicidal thoughts (Alsubaie et al., 484-486). Protective factors boost a person’s mental health and enhance their capacity to deal with challenging situations (Maier et al.). The research in this area allows doctors to effectively treat people suffering from the disorder and improve their understanding of its development or non-development despite being susceptible to common risk factors. Among older adults, protective factors against depression include participation in events organized by community centers, attending community meetings, and strengthening social networks (Maier et al.).
To conclude, physical exercise, cognitive activity, and a feeling of coherence are modifiable factors that might be the focus of preventative intervention (Maier et al.). The effects of such protective factors may point to the lacking lifestyles of individuals suffering from depression. People in old age are often depressed due to low social contact and a sense of participation. Protective factors are equally valuable in understanding the causes of depression.
Alsubaie, M. M., et al. “The Role of Sources of Social Support on Depression and Quality of Life for University Students.” International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, vol. 24, no. 4, 2019, pp. 484–496., Web.
Chand S.P. and Arif H. (2022). Depression. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. Web.
Maier, Alexander, et al. “Risk Factors and Protective Factors of Depression in Older People 65+. A Systematic Review.” PLOS ONE, vol. 16, no. 5, 2021, Web.