Listening For The Blues

Depression among the elderly is common--and dangerous--but it's also very treatable

Depression, sometimes called the common cold of psychiatry, affects an estimated 10% of all Americans. But unlike the common cold, depression usually doesn't go away by itself. People age 65 and older are particularly susceptible. Of the 34 million older people in this country, about 6 million suffer from chronic depression.

In addition to the factors that often seem to trigger depression in people of all ages, especially during the dark winter months and around the holidays, older people must cope with the loss of loved ones, social isolation and the physical limitations that often come with age. Physical changes in...

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