There is considerable evidence that suicide in old age is almost invariably associated with clear-cut depression of recent onset. Though depression in old age is common, particularly in those older people who are lonely and frail, it is none the less neither inevitable nor unresponsive to treatment. Such treatment can include counselling and psychotherapy as well as antidepressant drugs.
Depression in old age can and should be detected and treated early. A leaflet, Depression in Old Age, recently produced for patients by the Royal College of Psychiatrists as part of its 'Beat Depression' campaign is an important step in the right direction.
Professor of Psychiatry
of the Elderly
University College London
Harlow, EssexReuse content