How We Can Help
Depression in Older Adults Treatment Information
IU Health Geriatrics physicians strive to improve your quality of life by increasing your mental health. If your mental health declines, your physical health may also be affected. We diagnose and treat depression through the following services:
- Social history. Social histories give our physicians a glimpse into your life so we can see how your behaviors have changed recently. These questionnaires also help us get to know you so we have a better relationship with you and your family. Aspects of your life such as your marital status, employment and the health of your partner can all affect your risk of developing depression. Social histories allow us to assess this risk and make treatment decisions that increase your overall well-being.
- Depression scale. We ask you and your family a series of questions that help us assess your mental health. These questions might make you feel uncomfortable, but it is essential that you answer them as honestly as possible. Our physicians need to understand how you are feeling to provide an accurate diagnosis.
- Medicines. Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicines can help you feel better. Our physicians work with you to find the medicine that works best for you. Antidepressants can have many side effects, so you take the lowest dose possible first to see if it is effective. We scale up your dosage as necessary after you have been taking the medicine for a few weeks. Antidepressants can take two to four weeks to be effective. It is important that you don’t skip pills or stop taking your antidepressants as this can make your symptoms of depression worse or prevent the medicine from being effective.
- Referral to specialists. Cognitive behavioral therapists assist you with working through depression. The specialists help you understand your thinking process and make changes to think in healthier, more positive ways. This type of therapy does not focus on why you might be depressed; it aims to change your pattern of thinking to get rid of depression. We may also refer you to support groups. Speaking with others who are feeling the same way can help you recognize you are not alone. You may also find out how other people live with and overcome their depression successfully.
Depression in Older Adults Locations & Physicians
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Depression in Older Adults Support Services
Depression causes many other health problems in older adults. Find the resources and support you need for depression below.
A Sampling of Depression in Older Adults Support Services
This website features information on depression in older adults, its causes and treatments.
American Association of Retired Persons
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) website includes an overview of the different types of depression.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
This fact sheet provides in-depth information on how depression affects older adults.
National Institutes of Health: Senior Health
The National Institutes of Health: Senior Health website is a valuable resource for information about depression in older adults and its treatment options.