Depression and the Elderly

Recognizing depression in the elderly starts with knowing the signs and symptoms including:

Physical Pain or Symptoms of Depression?

Often, care givers of seniors do not recognize symptoms of depression in the elderly, and the disease goes undiagnosed causing unnecessary suffering. Seniors, themselves, often do not recognize symptoms of depression, complaining of instead, of low motivation, a lack of energy, or physical problems. In fact, physical complaints, such as arthritis pain or worsening headaches, are often the predominant symptom of depression in the elderly.

Medical conditions can cause depression in older adults

Medical problems often cause depression in older adults and the elderly, either directly or as a psychological reaction to the illness. Any chronic medical condition, particularly if it is painful, disabling, or life-threatening, can lead to depression or make depression symptoms worse.

These include:

Care Givers:

Watch for signs. If the signs appear, get help from competent mental health professionals.


Depression is not a sign of weakness. It is a disease. If symptoms appear, get help from competent mental health professionals experienced to diagnose and treat this disease.