Depression in Later Life: Aetiology, Epidemiology, Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment


Journal Article (Chapter)

Depression is the most frequent cause of emotional suffering in later life and is associated with significant losses in one's quality of life, often occurring in the context of physical or cognitive impairment. Several theories of depression in the elderly have been put forth, including those based on cognitive, behavioural and biological models. Life span theories relevant to depression suggest that there is a natural process of ageing in which there is a withdrawal by the older adult from their social environment; however, others have conceptualized this withdrawal as a subtype of geriatric depression. Older individuals rarely seek treatment for their mental health problems and depression among these individuals often goes undetected and untreated. There are, however, efficacious treatments for depression tailored to the needs of the elderly. Moreover, the combination of psychotherapy and medications has been found to be the most successful in the treatment of depressed elders. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sachs-Ericsson, N; Blazer, DG

Published Date

  • March 12, 2012

Volume / Issue

  • 2 /

Start / End Page

  • 1001 - 1015

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/9781119952930.ch83

Citation Source

  • Scopus