Investigating the Stigma of Depression in Older Adults

Exploring Depression in Older Adults—Understanding the Impact of Stigma on Individual Experiences

Sponsorship Type: Non-Funded
Research Type: Human Subjects
Impact: National

The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that depression affects more than 6.5 million of the 35 million Americans aged 65 and over (18.6%). Depression in older adults is associated with increased disability and morbidity and yet often goes undiagnosed and untreated.

Depression may go undiagnosed in older adults because there can be the misconception that depression is a normal response to the aging process or its symptoms can be mistaken as signs of other medical conditions such as dementia, stroke, or heart disease. The stigma of mental illness can also play an important role in why older adults are not being diagnosed or treated at rates comparable to their younger counterparts. This project aims to better understand the stigma of depression in our community among older adults in order to identify barriers to diagnosis and treatment.

For more information, email Suzanne Baker,  M.A. at .
Co-Investigator: Dr. Angelina Sutin, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine.

View the poster entitled Exploring the Stigma of Depression Among Older Adults: Results from a Community Survey [pdf] that Suzanne Baker presented at the 2015 American Geriatrics Society annual meeting.




       Ms. Suzanne Baker