Scientific journal

New Psychological Research

Balashova E.Yu., Mikeladze L.I. Late-life depression: clinical and psychological aspects of research

Elenа Yu. Balashova, Ph. D. (Psychology), Associate Professor, Moscow State Lomonosov University, Moscow, Russia; 125009, Russia, Moscow, Mokhovaya str., bld. 11–9; Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia; 125009, Russia, Moscow, Mokhovaya str., bld. 9–4; Mental Health Research center, Moscow, Russia; 115522, Russia, Moscow, Kashirskoye hwy., bld 34; elbalashova@yandex.ru
Lika I. Mikeladze, Ph. D. (Psychology), Russian National Research Medical N. I. Pirogov University, Moscow, Russia; 117997, Russia, Moscow, Ostrovityanova str., bld. 1; lika.mikeladze@gmail.com

The article is devoted to the analysis of clinical and psychological studies of various aspects of depressive disorders of late age. Due to the trend of increasing the number of elderly people in the population for several decades, the frequency of affective diseases of the depressive spectrum is also increasing. This creates a number of serious social, medical and psychological problems, leads to deterioration in the quality of life. Special attention in the article is paid to various factors that increase the risk of depression. These are changes in many parameters of social functioning, personal transformations, unfavorable course of development crises characteristic of late ontogenesis. The features of clinical symptoms and the course of depression in aging, biological and brain risk factors for their occurrence and pathogenesis are considered. One of the dominant topics of the article concerns the psychological aspects of the study of late-life depression. These are, first of all, the features of self-regulation and mediation of mental activity and behavior. Such studies logically integrate the data obtained in the course of neuropsychological and pathopsychological studies with the ideas of L.S. Vygotsky’s cultural-historical approach on the determination of the development of the mentality and behavior. In late depression, compared with normal aging, the motivational support of mental activity decreases, goal-setting processes change, the need for optimization of cognitive functioning decreases, the range of mediating techniques and strategies used in solving various cognitive tasks narrows. The article analyzes the features of memory, various types of perception and voluntary movements, attention, thinking, speech and language in late-life depression compared with normal (physiological) aging. Clinical and psychological analysis of the triggers of affective disorders of the depressive spectrum, personality and cognitive changes in late depression allows us to approach the solution of one of the fundamental issues of clinical psychology – the differentiation of normal and pathological manifestations of aging.

 

Key words: aging, clinical psychology, cognitive functions, motivation, emotions, mediation, regulation

 

For citation: Balashova, E.Yu., Mikeladze, L.I. (2022). Late-life depression: clinical and psychological aspects of research. New Psychological Research, No. 4, 140–171. DOI: 10.51217/npsyresearch_2022_02_04_07

 

Acknowledgment

The study was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project № 20-013-00075 “Man in everyday life: psychological phenomenology and regularity”.

keywords: aging, clinical psychology, cognitive functions, motivation, emotions, mediation, regulation

received 30 December 2022

published 30 December 2022

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