There are many differences between younger and older people regarding the clinical presentations of depressive disorders. Depression in elderly people is often missed or undiagnosed due to the clinical symptoms of other medical comorbidities. Research conducted by Haigh et al., (2018) found that clinical presentation of depressive disorder is different in the elderly, “depressed mood is often absent or masked. Anxiety, somatization, and hypochondriasis are more often present in the elderly depressed patients than in younger patients. The elderly people are also more likely than their younger counterparts to complain of insomnia”. The same study also found that older patients were more likely “to endorse poor appetite and loss of interest in sex but were less likely to endorse sadness, crying spells, feeling fearful or bothered or that life was a failure, enjoying life, feeling as good as others, feeling worthless and suicidal thoughts” (Haigh et al., 2018).
Regardless of the clinical presentation, to qualify for a diagnosis a number of parameters must be satisfied as per symptoms from the diagnosis and statistical manual (DSM-5). One must have a past depressive episode lasted at 14 days and followed by five or more symptoms listed in the DSM-5 and episode must have caused significant distress and impairment (American Psychiatric Association, 2022).
Driving requires several different skills that are important for the safety of the driver and others. Every driver must have good judgement, understand and able to recall rules of the driving, adequate eyesight and hearing. Changes in the brain that a patient with dementia experiences may make it difficult and not safe to continue driving. Based on the progress of the disease, one with dementia may have difficulty remembering things, find it more difficult to make quick driving decisions, and to find places. Since the impact of dementia on one brain can also impact the ability to drive safely it would not be recommended for a patient with advanced stage of dementia to be driving (Holden & Pusey, 2020).
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