Depression & Bipolar Disorder in Seniors

Depression and Bipolar in Seniors

Depression & Bipolar Disorder in Seniors


It can be hard to watch your loved one suffer through the effects of depression or bipolar disorder and even harder when they try to keep their suffering hidden from you. The truth is that seniors are more likely to develop depression than other age groups. Still, they’re also less likely to seek treatment because they believe it isn’t severe enough or feel embarrassed about their symptoms. The symptoms of this mental illness can differ from those seen in younger people, but it’s still important to know how to identify and treat them so your loved one can live his or her best life possible.

Depression and bipolar disorder can be tricky to spot in seniors, as they often manifest in different ways than they do in younger people. Seniors with depression may be less likely to feel hopeless and suicidal, while seniors with bipolar disorder are more likely to experience delusions of grandeur or paranoia. If you’re worried about an elderly family member’s mental health, these signs of depression and bipolar disorder in seniors will help determine if it’s time to get help.

An overview of depression in senior citizens

Depression is not a normal part of aging. If you are a senior citizen and depression affects your quality of life, it’s essential to seek help. Depression is a real and serious medical condition that is more common in older adults. Symptoms of depression can include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, and interests. These changes can be gradual or sudden. If you have any of these symptoms, you must talk to your doctor about getting evaluated for depression.  Additional information can be found at

The dangers of denial

As we age, it’s natural for our bodies to change and slow down. But when these changes start to affect our mood and emotions, it could signify something more serious, like depression or bipolar disorder. Depression is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, irritability, and low self-esteem. Sufferers may have trouble concentrating on work or play activities; they might eat too much or too little; they may sleep poorly, and their energy level may ebb and flow with the severity of their condition. The symptoms can worsen over time if left untreated.


Warning signs for bipolar disorder

As people age, they may experience more stress and changes in their lives that can trigger bipolar disorder. It’s essential to be aware of the warning signs so you can get help if you or a loved one experiences them. Symptoms include unusually high moods, racing thoughts, irritability, anger, impulsiveness, and high energy levels. A person with bipolar disorder may also have trouble sleeping or experience low energy levels.

Depression is another mental health condition seniors should watch out for. Signs of depression are feeling sad or having no interest in things they once enjoyed doing. It’s not just seniors who need to take care of themselves.

Issues that complicate treatment and management

The symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder can be easily confused with those of other conditions, making diagnosis difficult. Additionally, older adults are more likely to have other health problems that can complicate treatment. They may also be taking medications that interact with mood stabilizers. Seniors may be reluctant to seek help due to the stigma attached to mental illness.  There are many benefits to seniors living in Assisted Living Facilities as they can have regularly scheduled consultations with physicians.  Additional information on the benefits can be by Clicking Here.

A list of medications commonly used to treat depression and bipolar disorder

Many different types of medications are used to treat depression and bipolar disorder. Most common include SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOIs, tricyclics, and atypical antipsychotics. Each type of medication works differently and can have different side effects. Working with a psychiatrist is essential to finding the proper medication for you.  For additional information on types of medications that may be prescribed click here


Final Thoughts

As we age, we must be aware of the signs and symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder. These conditions can be challenging to deal with because they can accompany other age-related issues, such as chronic pain or isolation. Don’t suffer in silence if you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from depression or bipolar disorder. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and get the help you need.