Several barriers to proper diagnosis and treatment of depression in elderly patients have been identified. These include misattribution of symptoms to 'normal' aging, incorrect diagnosis, and social stigma. One plausible explanation for missed diagnoses is that the criteria used to identify major depression were developed in younger individuals and are less valid in older patients. This hypothesis has proven to be difficult to test because methods for studying the validity of diagnosis have advanced little since the time of Kraepelin 100 years ago. A renewed focus on the issue of validity could benefit older depressed individuals by improving methods for identifying depression and measuring response to treatment. Rather than labeling depression in late life as more likely to present 'atypically,' it may be more important to appreciate that the phenomenology of depressive disorder can vary across the life span.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry|
|Issue number||4 SUPPL.|
|State||Published - Sep 1 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health