Brodaty listed a number of atypical presentations for depression in the elderly. A patient with one of these presentations should be screened for depression, which may be mixed with other conditions. The author is from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Presentations that may indicate depression:

(1) pseudodementia

(2) paranoia

(3) hypochondria

(4) complaints of chronic pain and physical ailments

(5) anxiety disorders or phobias

(6) obsessive-compulsive disorder

(7) alcohol and/or substance abuse

(8) unlawful behaviors such as shoplifting

(9) acting out sexually

(10) accidental or intentional drug overdose

(11) anorexia and weight loss

(12) urine and/or fecal incontinence

(13) screaming and yelling

(14) social withdrawal

(15) marital discord


Depression may underly unexplained onset or worsening of these conditions. Some of the conditions (like incontinence) may precipitate or worsen depression.

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