Cover image for Living longer depression free : a family guide to recognizing, treating, and preventing depression in later life
Living longer depression free : a family guide to recognizing, treating, and preventing depression in later life
Miller, Mark D., 1955-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xix, 184 pages ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RC537.5 .M54 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Depression affects people of all ages, but is both more common and more serious for those over 60. As many as half of all nursing home residents have depression, as do up to 40 percent of those who visit primary-care clinics. Late-life depression is a disease with unique risk factors. Health problems, physical limitations, the loss of loved ones, and fears about financial issues all contribute to an increased incidence of depression, which, despite its prevalence, is not a normal part of the ageing process. It can intensify existing medical conditions such as chronic pain and is far more likely to lead to suicide than does depression in younger people. There is good news, however: 80 percent of older people who receive treatment for depression make a complete recovery and enjoy fulfilling lives.

Author Notes

Mark D. Miller, M.D., is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and medical director of the Late-Life Depression Prevention Clinic at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
Charles F. Reynolds III, M.D., is a professor of psychiatry, neurology, and neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of the NIMH-funded Intervention Research Center for Late-Life Mood Disorders

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Both geriatric psychiatrists at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Miller and Reynolds here share their 20-plus years' experience of working with older people suffering from depression. As the authors remind readers, the incidence of depression significantly rises with age, and suicide, highly associated with depression, is five times more common in later life. This important, thorough work covers the various forms of and medical reasons for depression and how it's related to Alzheimer's and other diseases; reviews how to evaluate and treat depression, including medication and psychotherapy; and presents numerous strategies for staying free of depression for the long term. The helpful appendix contains hotline numbers of organizations that focus on depression and URLs related to depression and late-life issues. Though several works for health professionals contain similar information, this is the first book to address lay readers. Strongly recommended.-Dale Farris, Groves, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Barry D. Lebowitz, Ph.D.
Forewordp. xi
Prefacep. xv
I. Understanding Late-Life Depression
1. Recognizing Depressionp. 3
What is Depression?p. 3
The Mind-Body Connectionp. 9
Pain or Physical Disabilityp. 12
Psychotic Symptomsp. 14
Suicidep. 14
Depression and the Quality of Lifep. 16
2. The Many Forms of Depressionp. 19
Dysthymiap. 20
Bipolar Disorderp. 21
Recurrent Depressionp. 25
Postpartum Depressionp. 28
Premenstrual and Postmenopausal Depressionp. 28
Bereavement-Related Depressionp. 29
3. Medical Reasons for Depression in Later Lifep. 34
Inherited Risk Factorsp. 35
Biomedical Risk Factorsp. 36
Medications That Can Cause or Contribute to Depressionp. 45
Recreational Drugs and Alcohol as Depressantsp. 48
4. Psychological and Social Reasons for Depression in Later Lifep. 53
Psychological Risk Factorsp. 53
Anxiety with Depressionp. 56
Social Risks: The Loneliness Factorp. 56
The Role of Personality or Coping Stylep. 58
The Stress Responsep. 60
What Can Be Done about Stress?p. 61
The Aftermath of September 11, 2001p. 63
II. Evaluating and Treating Depression
5. Getting Help for Depression: Where to Go, What to Expectp. 67
Which Health Professional Should You Choose?p. 70
A Thorough Assessment for Late-Life Depressionp. 74
Barriers to Treatmentp. 77
Finding Help in Your Areap. 78
The Benefits of Treatment and the Consequences of Untreated Depressionp. 78
Advice for Family Membersp. 79
6. Talking Therapy for Late-Life Depressionp. 82
What Is Psychotherapy?p. 82
Types of Psychotherapyp. 83
How Psychotherapy Helpsp. 89
How to Find a Good Psychotherapistp. 91
Good Grievingp. 96
7. What Modern Medicine Can Offer for Late-Life Depressionp. 97
Antidepressant Medicationp. 98
Types of Antidepressant Medications: A Brief Overviewp. 99
Strategies for Making Antidepressants Workp. 105
Managing Side Effects of Antidepressant Medicationp. 106
Combined Treatment: Medication and Psychotherapyp. 107
Electroconvulsive Therapy, or Shock Treatmentp. 107
How Do Medical Treatments Work?p. 109
The Maintenance Therapies in Late-Life Depression Studyp. 110
A Word about Insomniap. 114
8. Complementary or Alternative Treatments Used for Mental Healthp. 116
A Historical Perspectivep. 116
Our Own Perspectivep. 117
The Alternative Health Care Movementp. 119
Standards of Safety and Efficacyp. 121
Alternative Treatmentsp. 122
Buyer, Bewarep. 131
III. Staying Free of Depression for the Long Term
9. Strategies for Living Depression Free for the Long Termp. 135
Finding the Help You Needp. 138
Friends and Family Members--An Early-Warning Systemp. 139
The Importance of Daily Routinep. 140
Successful Agingp. 144
Later Life as a Developmental Stagep. 146
Planning for the Final Phase of Lifep. 148
Making Plans for Needing Help--A Way to Stay in Controlp. 150
End-of-Life Issuesp. 151
10. Future Researchp. 154
New and Promising Developmentsp. 154
Special Considerations of Researchp. 156
Participating in Research: What Is Involved?p. 157
Appendixp. 159
Information Hotlinesp. 159
Websites of Interestp. 161
Referencesp. 167
Indexp. 179