- About 72 percent of the participants in the study are found to be depressive
- Chronic illness increases the risks of depression in elders
- Stressful events also causes higher risks of depression
- Family support plays a major role in coping up with aging
- Depression found to be more in illiterate elders
A recent study reports that the occurrence of chronic medical illness in elders increases the risk of developing depression.
As we all know, aging is a part of life, and nobody escapes from it unless you die. With the increasing number of aged population in the world, as life expectancy remain better in most of the world, the mental condition of elder people should also be closely monitored.
The study conducted by a team of Psychiatrists from Maharashtra found out that out of 100 participants 72 were depressed while 24 were non-depressed.
In the study, four people aged above 75 years were included and all of them found to be non-depressed. In the research, younger aged elders, below 75 years, were prone to such depressive mental condition.
Reasons can be:
When someone carries out a task for so long years sudden retirement can affect their mindset causing depression
- Partner’s death
The unexpected death or even died after being bedridden may shatter the minds of people at the elder ages
- Support from family members
A majority of youngsters will be busy with their career and life while elders stay back not to disturb their children. Even grandchildren would be busy with studies and their peer group leading to the loneliness and depressive attitude in elders.
The study also substantiates that the more number of stressful events in one’s life especially within a year, higher the chances of depression and its severity. Depression seems to be higher in female elders than in males. Economic dependence, increased responsibilities at home and poverty can be the reason for higher prevalence in female elders.
The study also found out that illiteracy among elders can also be a cause for the depression. While literate elders find out means to cop up with the aging life, illiterate tend to be more depressed.
Analyzing the medical illness already experienced by the elders, it has been observed that the chronic illness also lead to the increased severity of depression. Challenges for physical movement and medicine intake happen to be affecting the depressive condition of elders.
The research was published in the latest issue of ‘Annals of Indian Psychiatry’, a journal published by the Western Zonal Branch of Indian Psychiatric Society.