Older adults less likely to get help for depression and anxiety, study finds

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Two-thirds of older Americans concerned about depression will not go for help, believing they can "snap out of it" on their own

(WYTV) – While the nation deals with the coronavirus, it is critical that we care for the health of the most vulnerable — our older citizens. They may not hesitate to see a doctor for a physical problem, but that’s often not the case when it comes to things like depression and anxiety.

A national survey found two-thirds of older Americans concerned about depression will not go for help, believing they can “snap out of it” on their own.

That may not happen.

“They are not proactively asking for help and even when we identify the psychiatric problems, they may still reject the help,” Dr. Pari Deshmukh said.

Why? Older people may believe getting depressed or down is a normal part of aging. It’s not.

The idea is finding the right kind of medication, if that’s what’s needed, and medicine tailored to a person’s DNA. The patient is more likely to respond and have fewer side effects, if any, in that case.

Urge your older parents to see a doctor if you notice changes in their mood or behavior — even more subtle symptoms, such as trouble sleeping or lack of social contacts.

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