Geriatric Mental Health

Geriatric Mental Health

Everyone needs social connections to survive and thrive. But as people age, they often find themselves spending more time alone. Studies show that loneliness and social isolation are associated with higher rates of depression.

Depression is a serious mood disorder. It can affect the way you feel, act, and think. Depression is a common problem among older adults, but clinical depression is not a normal part of aging.

There are several types of depression that older adults may experience:

  • Major Depressive Disorder 
    Includes symptoms lasting at least two weeks that interfere with a person’s ability to perform daily tasks
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder
    A depressed mood that lasts more than two years, but the person may still be able to perform daily tasks, unlike someone with Major Depressive Disorder
  • Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder
    Depression related to the use of substances, like alcohol or pain medication
  • Depressive Disorder Due to A Medical Condition
    Depression related to a separate illness

Depression is serious, and treatments are available to help. For most people, depression gets better with treatment. 

“Low dose ketamine can be beneficial for depression in older patients” according to the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.  As with other age groups, some patients experience a rapid response and a positive change in their mood after one or two infusions.  If patients have stable and controlled blood pressure – the risk is low. 

In fact, studies show that most older adults feel satisfied with their lives, despite having more illnesses or physical problems than younger people. This factor contributes to the rapid response.

Treatments are coordinated with the patient’s current referring healthcare provider.


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