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Living Longer Depression Free: A Family Guide to Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Depression in Later Life

by Mark D. Miller and Charles F. Reynolds Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 208 pages
AU$44.99 NZ$46.95
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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Depression affects people of all ages, but is both more common and more serious for those over sixty. 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 aging 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. In Living Longer Depression Free, Mark D. Miller, M.D., and Charles F. Reynolds III, M.D., draw on their considerable experience in geriatric psychiatry to help elderly persons, their families, and their physicians accurately diagnose and treat late-life depression. This comprehensive, up-to-date guide begins with a discussion of the different types of depression, their causes, and symptoms. The authors then describe how doctors evaluate depression; present the treatment options available to patients today, including psychotherapy, medication, and alternative treatments; and offer strategies for achieving long-term mental health. Each chapter opens with a list of frequently asked questions and uses case studies to personalize the information provided, and the book closes with a useful list of resources for further information, including hotlines and websites. Compassionate and accessible, Living Longer Depression Free is an invaluable guide for older people and their families striving to overcome this debilitating disease and prevent its recurrence.

Contents: Foreword, by Barry D. Lebowitz, Ph.D. Preface I. UNDERSTANDING LATE-LIFE DEPRESSION 1. Recognizing Depression What is Depression? The Mind-Body Connection Pain or Physical Disability Psychotic Symptoms Suicide Depression and the Quality of Life 2. The Many Forms of Depression Dysthymia Bipolar Disorder Recurrent Depression Postpartum Depression Prementrual and Postmenopausal Depression 3. Medical Reasons for Depression in Later Life Inherited Risk Factors Biomedical Risk Factors Medications That Can Cause or Contribute to Depression Recreational Drugs and Alcohol as Depressants 4. Psychological and Social Reasons for Depression in Later Life Psychological Risk Factors Anxiety with Depression Social Risks: The Loneliness Factor The Role of Personality or Coping Style The Stress Response What Can Be Done about Stress? The Aftermath of September 11, 2001 II. EVALUATING AND TREATING DEPRESSION 5. Getting Help for Depression: Where to Go, What to Expect Which Health Professional Should You Choose? A Thorough Assessment for Late-Life Depression Barriers to Treatment Finding Help in Your Area The Benefits of Treatment and the Consequences of Untreated Depression Advice for Family Members 6. Talking Therapy for Late-Life Depression What is Psychotherapy? Types of Psychotherapy How Psychotherapy Helps Good Grieving 7. What Modern Medicine Can Offer or Late-Life Depression Antidepressant Medication Types of Anitdepressant Medications: A Brief Overview Strategies for Making Antidepressants Work Managing Side Effects of Antidepressant Medication Combined Treatment: Medication and Psychotherapy Electriconvulsive Theray, or Shock Treatment How do Medical Treatments Work? The Maintenance Therapies in Late-Life Dperession Study A Word about Insomnia 8. Complementary or Alternative Treatments Used for Mental Health A Historical Perspective Our Own Perpsective The Alternative Health Care Movement Standards of Safety and Efficacy Alternative Treatments Buyer, BewareIII. STAYING FREE OF DEPRESSION FOR THE LONG TERM 9. Strategies for Living Depression Free for the Long Term Finding the Help You Need Friends and Family Members--An Early-Warning System The Importance of Daily Routine Successful Aging Later Life as a Developmental Stage Planning for the Final Phase of Life Making Plans for Needing Help--A way to Stay in Control End-of-Life Issues 10. Future Research New and Promising Developments Special Considerations of Research Participating in Research: What is Involved

'It is good to see a book that so comprehensively informs sufferers and carers. It will be useful for those patients and carers who expect more information and want to take part in decisions.' -- Susan Bedford, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 'A valuable resource for older patients and families. It is useful and welcome addition to the growing library of lay-oriented books on depression and other mental illnesses.' -- Paul E. Ruskin, M.D., Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 'A first-rate resource for families and loved ones of depressed elders. Clear writing, concise tables, and solid science make this book the single-best text to offer the older depressed patient and family... This book will set the standard for some time to come.' -- Joshi John, MD and Gary J. Kennedy, MD, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 'The authors have succeeded in presenting the present stage of knowledge about late-life depression in a useful, user-friendly format.' -- Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 'Take it from one who's been there. This is a thorough, carefully done, responsible, and remarkably useful book. Easy to read and understand. I admire immensely what Drs. Miller and Reynolds have given us.' -- Mike Wallace, Senior Correspondent, 60 Minutes '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.... Though several works for health professionals contain similar information, this is the first book to address lay readers. Strongly recommended.' -- Library Journal (starred review) 'The authors succeed quite well in describing the symptoms and treatment of depressive syndromes in the geriatric population. It is well organized and comprehensive in the topics it covers, and easy reading without being simplistic.' -- Francis M. Mondimore, M.D., Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, author of Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families 'A comprehensive, original work from a group recognized as leading researchers on this topic.' -- Peter V. Rabins, M.D., Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, coauthor of The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life 'In this book, two of the pioneers in the diagnosis and treatment of depression in older people present the most recent information on the state of our knowledge in this important consideration. Drs. Miller and Reynolds are geriatric psychiatrists who have devoted their careers to the issue of depression in older people. Through their important work, they have advanced our understanding and have taught us much of what we know in this area. They summarize their experience over the past two decades and provide useful information for anyone dealing with depression in his or her own life.' -- from the foreword by Barry D. Lebowitz, Ph.D., National Institute of Mental Health 'An excellent brief readable book on depression.' -- Ruth Harriet Jacobs, Ph.D., The Senior Times 'Thorough, carefully written, responsible, and useful. It is easy to read and to understand, without being simplistic.' -- Matt Robillard, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry
Mark D. Miller, M.D., is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and 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, where he is also director of the NIMH-funded Intervention Research Center for Late-Life Mood Disorders and serves as senior associate dean.