Health > Senior Depression vs Dementia
18th Jul 2022
Spot The Differences BW Depression & Dementia For Apt Treatment

Senior Depression vs Dementia

Lack of mental acuity in seniors may indicate dementia or depression, which are both prevalent in seniors. How would you distinguish one from another?

A mental illness known as elderly depression involves significant feelings that interfere with day-to-day functions, including sleeping, feeding, and functioning. A deterioration in the mental capacity that is stress-related to everyday functioning, including memory problems, is often referred to as dementia. The most prevalent dementia type is Alzheimer’s.

It might be challenging to distinguish between dementia and geriatric depression since they exhibit many of the same symptoms. Here are some tips for distinguishing between dementia and depression in older people.


Depression in Seniors

A mental health condition called depression always makes a person feel unhappy, and they could become bored with routine activities. One of the most manageable mental health conditions is depression, and seeking help on time can improve a person’s life.


Indicators and symptoms of depression include:

  • Having trouble focusing and remembering specifics
  • Persistent Fatigue
  • An attitude of worthlessness
  • Hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Suicidal ideas

If depression is the cause, receiving therapy can increase energy, focus, or cognition. Altering one’s way of life can also be beneficial. A person’s mental well-being depends on various factors, including nutrition, adequate sleep, activity levels, social engagement, exercise, and stress management.


What is Dementia Disease?

Dementia disease is a range of illnesses, not a single disease, that are defined by the deterioration of at least one or two brain processes, such as memory problems and reasoning. Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular degeneration, Lewy body dementia, and neurodegenerative disorders are a few types of dementia.


Dementia symptoms include:

  • Everyday life is disrupted by memory loss
  • Planning or problem-solving difficulties
  • Difficulty doing routine chores
  • Uncertain about the time or location
  • Having issues comprehending spatial connections and visual pictures
  • Facing problems in speaking and writing languages
  • Withholding from social or professional activities
  • Attitude or personality changes

If it is dementia, medication may be able to delay the disease’s course or at the very least enhance the patient’s quality of life.


Dementia v/s Depression

While somebody with Alzheimer’s might be less able to spot the decrease in memory, a depressed person would most likely be aware of memory-related concerns. Rapid onsets of depression, bewilderment, or amnesia are possible, while dementia usually results in a relatively gradual loss of cognitive function.

A depressed person will know their location, who they are chatting with, and the day and hour. In contrast, dementia patients frequently forget these fundamentals, even in their accustomed settings. Even if they occasionally talk slowly, persons who are depressed utilise language appropriately. However, a person with dementia often struggles with language, forgetting people’s names or the names of particular items.

It’s crucial to get medical treatment to determine whether depression or dementia is the root cause of memory problems or cognitive impairment.


What Signs of Dementia & Depression are Comparable?

The memory problems between both circumstances account for the majority of the variances. Dementia can also cause mood changes and behaviour, although they are more a result of cognitive loss than a mood condition like depression.

However, disorientation and forgetfulness brought on by sadness can often be misinterpreted as dementia. To determine which ailment, if any, is impacting the patient and setting up the necessary therapy, it is crucial to have a physician undertake a thorough assessment.



No matter the reason for your concern—whether it’s concerning a beloved member or your cognitive decline you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. Memory, focus, and vitality will improve with therapy if depression is the issue. Signs can be stopped, slowed down, or undone even with certain dementias. Volunteer to accompany a loved one with dementia or a senior with depression to a doctor’s office, so they may be appropriately evaluated and treated.



What kind of dementia does depression cause?

Pseudodementia is a disorder that resembles dementia but doesn’t have any brain deterioration as its primary cause. Given that the symptoms frequently result from mood-related illnesses like sadness, some individuals refer to the disease as depressed pseudodementia.


How can dementia and mental disorders be distinguished from one another?

While dementia may impact mental wellness, this is not a mental disorder, but rather a brain ailment that results in memory loss and communication difficulties. A thorough mental disorder diagnosis in the senior is essential to guarantee that the right therapy is given as quickly as possible.


What is the connection between dementia and depression?

According to Alexopoulos, a minimum of 20% of patients with dementia experience depressive symptoms. But sadness frequently arrives first. According to some research, depression in later years could be a prodrome of Alzheimer’s, whereas depression in formative years may be a hazardous component of dementia.


Do antidepressants aid in dementia treatment?

People with dementia who experience mood changes or behaviour frequently take antidepressants such as sertraline, citalopram, mirtazapine, and trazodone. They may help decrease agitation, according to some data, especially citalopram. (Consider seeing a doctor before putting these medications in your body.