Detection of Affective Disorders in the Aged
One of the tasks of the physician when examining an emotionally disturbed patient is to determine whether the patient’s condition is a normal reaction to the vicissitudes of life, or whether it is an illness which requires skilled medical attention. In order to perform an evaluation for the presence or absence of an affective disorder in any patient, clear-cut diagnostic criteria must be kept in mind for each of the disorders which the clinician is considering. In addition, he must know and understand the effect of variables, such as age, and their influence on the emotional “baseline” of the normal persons. Specifically, in assessing the elderly patient, we must ask ourselves: How much anxiety and how much depressive symptomatology are usually present in the normal aged? Understanding the status of the normal elderly person would help us in the evaluation of the disturbed elderly person.
KeywordsDepressive Disorder Anxiety Disorder Depressed Patient Affective Disorder Depressive Symptomatology
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