Depression Essay Examples & Outline

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Depression in Late Adulthood

Late adulthood is a stage of one life that should very entertaining as it’s meant to enjoy ones achievements, after laboring for many years. But for many individuals this is not the case. Most of them live under depression due to leading stressful lives and in fear of what might happen to them. Some of them suffer from terminal illnesses like diabetes, asthma, blood pressure among others, and these normally put them under a lot pressure. This topic will help explore the life changes in old age and its association with depression.

Depression is defined as a condition of despondency marked by feeling of inferiority and hopelessness (Cool, 2001). It’s a state that affects an individual adversely and is caused by certain circumstances that occur in an individual’s life. It’s a brain condition since people with it have high levels of cortisol, which has daring effects on certain parts of the brain. It contributes to chronic inflammation and this can greatly affect the circulatory system as it damages the blood vessels which are used in the flow of blood. Depression too affects the nervous system by destroying the neural networks.

There many symptoms of depression of depression where the most common are the sadness and disappointment. One may lose appetite and pleasure in almost all activities. Some individuals lose weight as they rarely have meals and if they have them they are normally not balanced. Depending on the source of your depression one is seen to be having some sense in of guilt which you are battling with. (Doris, et al. 1999) Men in most cases tend to hide their feeling so instead they normally become aggressive and irritable easily.

Sleepless nights is also a symptom of a depressed individual. ( Women have a higher incidence of thyroid problems since hypothyroidism can cause depression. For some individuals especially those experiencing atypical depression some symptoms are opposite rather than sleeping less they tend to do it excessively, eating more especially carbohydrates thus leading to weight gain. (

Depression can occur at any age but is more pronounced in old age which ranges from sixty and above. As one gets old the more unproductive one becomes and that‘s why people retire. Many people take retirement differently. For some being in employment use to provide some sort of social class an ones they retire it’s taken away from them. They become uncomfortable as they normally find it hard to adapt in their new status. For many their self-esteem is lowered giving them a feeling of inferiority which is not the case. The change that occurs in their mind and body determines how they will live the rest of their lives. In Erick Erickson’s psychological dilemmas some individuals start thinking of their failure in the past life thus leading to unending regrets. It leads to depression as at their age it’s too late to change anything.

A major cause late adulthood depression is loss of a loved one especially one that one had special attachment to. He or she may be a spouse, a child, a close friend or even a worker. They normally find it hard to fill that gap left. It’s normally as if all their hopes in life were determined by those people and ones they are gone, they find life not worth living anymore and it’s in such instances that some contemplate suicide and if successful they follow the departed lot.

Depression has adverse effects in an individual especially in old age. The major one is normally suicide as they normally find life not worth living anymore due to the hopelessness. Research has shown that men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women as they tend to keep their feeling to themselves but women express them by sharing that which is bothering them with those that they trust. ( n.d) the most common way is by crying as they feel relieved.

According to the National Mental Health Association, one in every eight women will develop depression at some point during their life time. Many factors contribute to this unique feature raging from reproductive hormones to social responses. The entertaining news is that depression is treatable and the more you understand its particular implications on both men and women, the more equipped you will be to tackle the problem head on. Treatment and cure depends on an individual.

There two main drugs being used to tackle it and these include serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). (Havard Mental Health Letter, 1999) Examples of serotonin reuptake inhibitors are Paxil and Zoloft. They have certain side effect which include: dry mouth, constipation, dizziness among others. Examples of tricyclic antidepressants include Pamelor and Norpramin which are used to treat severe depression also known as melancholia.

Another very efficient way of dealing with depression is supporting reproductive relationships. The elderly in most cases try as much as possible to do this but some of us are too inconsiderate to notice it. They tend to feel lonely as most of their children have left them and the person they get is of great value to them thus it’s upon us not to let them down it this.

Depression too may be a side effect of a certain pre-existing medication thus the affected individual needs to see a physician who may refer him/her to a psychiatrist with geriatric training or experience. It’s important for one to follow the doctor’s prescription as there’s a chance of the condition of depression returning if one quits the medication. Its medication may vary depending on an individual for example if it has occurred to you severally, medication for you may last longer but if it’s once its medication is not that serious.

For those taking care of depression patients need to be patient with them as they may constantly ask for re-assurance as they feel they got something physically wrong with them. It is important for them to reassure them as much as possible and try to spend as much time as possible with them. Just make them know it is a normal condition and that they are not losing their minds. Another important aspect about depression is that its hereditary that is it can be past from parents to their children thus one need not tire him/herself trying to decipher the cause. The family members need to know whether such a condition run in their blood line so that they can devise the necessary measures to deal with them.

Herbal remedies and natural supplements can also be used in treating depression and are much safer than antidepressants for the older adults. However some herbal supplements may cause some side effects depending on an individual thus its important for one to check with your physician before using them. Some of them include the following: Omega-3 fatty acids which boost the effectiveness of antidepressants, St. John’s wort and Folic acid help relieve mild symptoms of depressions but should not be used with antidepressants especially alcohol.

Other than the right treatment for depression, treatments can cause or even worsen existing depression.

They include: Blood pressure medication especially clonidine, Ulcer medication (Zantac, Tagamet), Heart drugs containing reserpine, Steroids (cortisone and prednisone), High cholesterol drugs especially Lipitor, Mevacor, and Zocor and Tranquilizers like valium Xanax and halcion. (
In conclusion, depression is a condition that is treatable and manageable thus people need not worry.


Government of India (India Institute of Medical sciences).