Encyclopedia of Geropsychology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Nancy A. Pachana

Depression in Later Life

  • Geir SelbaekEmail author
  • Tom Borza
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-082-7_94


The term depression can have different meanings. It can be regarded as a “symptom” (low mood), a “syndrome” (a set of symptoms with various definitions), or as a medically defined diagnosis according to a classification system. Depressive symptoms can be viewed dimensionally, from more or less normal reactions to pathologically severe depressive symptoms. The symptoms occur on a continuum of severity from mild reactions to complete disablement. The classification systems have traditionally viewed depressive symptoms and depression categorically (Baldwin 2014).

There is no defined biomarker for depression; the diagnosis is based on a clinical interview, observation, and supplemental information from relatives and caregivers. A diagnosis of depression is made according to two main classification systems: the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), or the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). To...
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Norwegian Advisory Unit on Ageing and Health, Vestfold Hospital Trust and Oslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  2. 2.Centre for Old Age Psychiatric Research, Innlandet Hospital TrustOsloNorway