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When Should I Consult a Doctor for Senior Depression?

by Dr. Patrick Arbore, Elder Abuse & Depression Expert
May 03, 2012

Question: Should I consult a psychiatrist or a psychologist to help my mother who I think is suffering from depression?

Answer: If you think your mother is suffering with depression, I would strongly urge you to arrange a consultation as soon as possible with a mental health professional. Whether this individual is a psychiatrist or a psychologist is not as relevant to me as to whether they have experience treating older adults. Depression is not a normal part of aging. However, many people, including professionals, have difficulty assessing the difference between aging and depression.

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Dr. Patrick Arbore is the Founder and Director of the Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention and Grief Related Services (CESP), a program offered by the Institute on Aging in San Francisco. Dr. Arbore conducts workshops and lectures locally and nationally on aging-related subjects. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on suicide prevention, bereavement, suffering, etc., including a chapter he co-authored in the book, “When Professionals Weep".

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