ISSN 2415-3060 (print), ISSN 2522-4972 (online)
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УЖМБС 2020, 5(3): 40–45
Medicine. Reviews

Depression in the Elderly: Prevalence, Clinical and Psychopathological Features

Hryn К. V.

The world's population is aging rapidly. The most common neuropsychiatric disorders among older people are dementia and depression. The average life expectancy of patients with mental disorders is less than that of healthy people. About 25% of deaths from self-harm occur in people of 60 years of age or older. Etiological factors of depressive disorders among the elderly. Depression is the second most common factor (after cardiovascular disease), leading to disability or loss of health. About 10% of the population suffers from depressive disorders, which account for 30% of the global burden of non-fatal diseases. The elderly, apart from the usual stress factors that occur in the lives of all people, can also be affected by a characteristic of the old factors such as a significant and steady deterioration of cognitive abilities and reduced functionality. In the life of the elderly there are lots of events concerning the loss of beloved ones, reducing the socio-economic status after retirement, leading to social isolation, loneliness or psychological disorders. Systematics and clinical symptoms of depression in the elderly. In primary care, depression is not sufficiently diagnosed. Symptoms of depression often coincide with other elderly problems, due to characterological features, somatic and neurological diseases. That manifestation of depression largely causes poor health, more frequent facts of treatment to the doctor, call an ambulance or even hospitalization. A clear and unambiguous classification of older depressive disorders does not exist. Leading scientists and clinicians suggest treating senile depressions as «organic depressive disorders». An analysis of the etiopathogenetic factors, systematization problems, the clinical and psychopathological manifestations of depressive disorders in elderly people allowed us to determine that the aging process is often complicated by the occurrence of mental pathology, most often depressive disorders. This leads to disability, a significant decrease in the quality of life, or even suicidal attempts. The stigma associated with mental illness makes people unwilling to seek help, which in turn leads to the formation of a protracted course and deepening of depressive disorders. Conclusion. It is necessary to create an individual approach in medicine to patients of senile age, focusing attention on complaints of a somatic and mental nature, timely referral by general practitioners to specialist psychiatrists.

Keywords: depressive disorders, elderly age, clinical and psychopathological features

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