Aetiology

The risk factors for depression in later life are discussed in Chapter.?..? As with depression at any other time of life, the occurrence of a depressive episode usually arises from a combination of vulnerability factors and a triggering (precipitating) adverse life event. 'Avoidant' and 'dependent' personality types are associated with late-life depression, and a lifelong lack of a capacity for intimacy is another risk factor. ^SID Precipitating life events occur at a similar frequency to other age groups, although health-related events are more common among older people.(l7>

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