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My mother, age 87, is very depressed. She is taking antidepressants but they are not working. Should I contact her doctor?


Question:  Both my parents are getting wonderful ADL care but my mother, age 87, is so depressed all the time (she of course does not call this depressed, and denies ever being depressed). We have encouraged her doctor to prescribe antidepressants, but the drug hasn’t worked at all. Do I contact the doctor and ask for a different prescription or what? 

Dr. Amy:  Go with your mother to the doctor and explain that her health has not improved. The dosage may need to be modified or a new medication prescribed, and this can only happen if you let the doctor know about the situation. Treating depression can be tricky. Your mother's medication needs to be monitored until she is feeling a positive impact.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. September 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Posted by Lin

    I am no doctor but sometimes antidepressants are not what your elderly relative may need. What they may need is YOUR TIME, YOUR LOVE, SHARED FUN ACTIVITIES WITH YOU & FAMILY MEMBERS, TO GET OUT & VISIT OTHERS WHO CAN RELATE TO THINGS FROM THEIR ERA. There is such a thing as Failure to Thrive where the patient is not sick but doesn’t have the will to live…so they eventually die. It’s the QUALITY OF LIFE that’s important.


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