A recent study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry examined the association between mental health and depressive symptoms in adults over the age of 50.
Researchers found that older adults are more likely to have symptoms of depression, and that depressive symptoms are associated with poorer mental health in the long-term.
The study also found that depression was a significant predictor of having symptoms of mental illness, such as suicidal thoughts, mood disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
It found that among adults over 50, having depressive symptoms was associated with lower quality of life, poorer mental functioning, and lower life satisfaction, the researchers said.
The researchers also found, though, that the effect of depression on mental health is much stronger for older adults, because depression is an underlying factor in a larger number of mental disorders, such in anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental illnesses.
“Our findings suggest that depression may have a protective effect on long-lived health, particularly in older adults,” said Dr. Richard Friesen, a senior author of the study and a psychiatrist at King’s College London.
Friese added that the study did not investigate how depression affects long-lasting mental health, but did look at the association with mental health.
“The most important finding is that depressive disorders are associated in a very robust manner with lower mental health,” he said.
Frieden said that it is important to look at depression more broadly as a factor in the health of the overall population.
“We know that mental health can have significant effects on a variety of health outcomes, including mortality, quality of quality of living, and long-run health.
This is not a new idea, and we know from previous research that depression has a strong protective effect,” he added.
In a follow-up study, published in May in the Journal of Health Psychology, Frieser and colleagues analyzed the relationship between depression symptoms and depressive illness among adults aged 50 to 75.
They found that having depressive disorders was associated, in part, with poorer physical health and poorer quality of physical functioning.
In addition, depression was also associated with worse health, including depression symptoms, suicide ideation, and mood disorders.
The association between depression and health problems was stronger for younger adults, and older adults were more likely than younger adults to have depressive symptoms, the study found.
The researchers also looked at how depression impacted the health and life satisfaction of older adults.
They said that the association was stronger with older adults who reported depressive symptoms and were less satisfied with their lives than those who reported no depression symptoms.
“Overall, our findings suggest depression is associated with a poor quality of health, as well as a greater risk of poor mental health among older adults in the longer run,” Fries said.
“These results suggest that if you are older and you are having symptoms that could be considered a mental illness and you’re in the minority of older people with symptoms, it may be important to talk to your healthcare provider about what your symptoms are and how to manage them.
Depression symptoms are also an important part of your health care needs.”
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