Yes, depression can be dangerous and is a barrier to aging well, but it is not an inevitable outcome of old age, and when it occurs, it can usually be overcome.
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Depression affects more than 6.5 million of the 35 million Americans aged 65 or older. For those who are homebound, the prevalence is even higher, with estimates ranging from 13.5 to 46 percent.
The good news for older adults is that, contrary to common belief, depression is not a normal or inevitable outcome of aging. But the ageist expectation that it is frequently results in failure to take steps to overcome it.
The good news is that with the appropriate medication and/or psychotherapy, 80 percent of depressed older adults will improve.
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