By the time people are over 65, illness and personal loss have likely started to intrude in their lives. Sadness and grief are normal reactions to these situations, but sadness and grief do not equal depression.
"Older adults are fairly resilient considering the stress many of them are under," says Joel E. Streim, MD, a geriatric psychiatry specialist at the University of Pennsylvania. "Many older adults are losing companions and spouses, coping with physical disability and dependence, or moving to senior housing. And we know that relocation is one of the most stressful events in anyone's life. So when depression does occur, it is an illness that must be treated."