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Many older adults are afraid to treat their depression

New York – A new study shows that about 61 per cent of the people in the US aged 65 or above, with depression, will not seek treatment.
A new nationwide poll, the GeneSight Mental Health Monitor, shows that 33 per cent seniors who are concerned they might be suffering from depression believe they can ‘snap out’ of it on their own.

“I have found older adults have a very difficult time admitting that they have depression. When they do acknowledge it, they are still reluctant to start treatment for a wide variety of reasons,” said study author Parikshit Deshmukh, CEO, Balanced Wellbeing LLC in the US.

Balanced Wellbeing LLC provides psychiatric and psychotherapy services to nursing and assisted living facilities.

According to the survey, 61 per cent of the respondents who are concerned they might have depression would not treat it because “my issues aren’t that bad”.

About four in 10 (39 per cent) of these think that they can manage depression without a doctor’s help.

“The ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ mindset of some seniors and reluctance to talk about mental health are hindering them from getting the help they need,” said Mark Pollack from Myriad Neuroscience, makers of the GeneSight test.

“People will seek treatment for conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes. Depression is no different. It is an illness that can and should be treated,” Pollack added.

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