Essay example on Mental Health:
Depression in the elderly is a serious problem that often goes mis-diagnosed, or is not treated properly. Many factors need to be taken in to consideration, such as what causes depression, what environmental factors are involved, and what can be done to help treat depression. Factors such as where one individual lives, nutrition, and the type of lifestyle they engage in has an enormous impact on the stress level on has with coping with stress. Living in a city with a lot of noise, pollution, and a large population can have possible effects on an individuals life. Also living in a neighborhood were medical clinics and proper education are lacking due to very small budgets are going to have a negative impact as well. Ones lifestyle plays a role as well, such as poor diet and lacking certain nutrients, all of these factors can cause a decline in ones physical and mental well being. Depression in later life can lead to many problems, such as suicide, or a physical illness if not treated properly. Not only in later life, but as well as younger individuals, depression can have the same effects no matter what age one might be. Levels of depression vary from individual to individual, that is why it is extremely important to be aware of the signs of depression, and to be aware of the possible treatments.
As we discussed in class, the population of older adults is much greater and continues to grow greater than the younger population. Many societies have different views on the older population, older adults themselves have their own particular views. Many people feel once you grow old, that’s it for you, that there is not much you can do but just sit around. A lot of these views do not necessarily arise from negative views of particular individuals, for instance a family member may choose not to let a grandparent go shopping anymore for groceries, because their getting old, and they may feel if they continue to go to the stores for themselves, they might not have the energy they had a few years ago and may over exert themselves. More often people feel this way about the older population, thus letting older adults themselves feel it is true, that growing old means you can not do the things you did a few years ago.
Many family physicians believe the same stereotypes. Many physicians lack the proper training, and trained assessment to detected depression. Studies found in the American Medical Association Journal, were by surveys were sent to family physicians and general internists to assess the knowledge and self attitudes regarding depression in the elderly. As to those who responded, 98.6 % agreed treatment for depression in the elderly was important, 29 % reported depressed elderly patients frustrated them, and 24.2 % reported they were pressured for time to investigate depression in the elderly. These figures are out of the 141 family physicians and general internists who responded to the survey. The age range was from 29 to 75 years of age. Although this survey was small, it gives us an idea on how some individuals, even doctors feel about the elderly.
When I went on my trip to the senior center a women was asking the social worker about a new medication prescribed by her physician, when she asked the physician how to take the medication he told her to ask the pharmacist. The pharmacist told her to read the booklet, she told him she could not see, and the pharmacist told her well I can’t do anything about that. The social worker called the pharmacist and he replied to her that he never said any such thing. In situations such as this, many elders will often take medications improperly, and can cause them more serious of a problem then they did before hand.
Although the FDA published a rule in 1997 on all pharmaceutical drug labels to include what type of side effects the drug may have on the elderly who might be taken the drug. ( Journal of the American Medical Association, Oct.22/29, 1997 ). Doctors very often have to take in to consideration the dose of the medication given to certain patients. Teenagers are often portrayed as the ones who might possibly abuse prescription drugs, but elders just as anyone else can abuse any drug. Doctors are under an assumption they know how to take medication, or would have a family member to assist them. Many do not have any one to monitor the use of a drug, so often a prescription may be taken too much or possibly not the full dose.
This can be very stressful and lead to a sense of doubt about ones own capabilities. Depression in the elderly is very serious and often very hard to detect by family and physicians. Sometimes people feel that there is an expiation for elders having depression, such as well his/her physical capabilities are not the same, and without these capabilities others and themselves have a tendency to feel what other purpose can they serve if they can not walk or lift groceries. There are just too many preventable reasons for depression and the elderly, it is very important for everyone to be aware of the stereotypes, and facts that society is not aware of regarding the elderly. Doctors should be trained with updated gerontology courses, so they too can be aware that just because one may look old they, are not old, and therefore should not be treated based on personal attitudes towards how they may feel about the elderly.