The difficult elderly patient: curable hostile depression or personality disorder?

by J.C. Monfort, Int Psychogeriatr. 1995;7 Suppl:95-111. Review. PMID: 8580396 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. This study suggests that hostile behavior in elderly patients is often caused by a reversible mood disorder rather than by a personality disorder or dementia. The mood disorder may be in the nature of a hostile agitated depression or a mixed affective state. The article finds that sedatives, often prescribed for hostile behavior, can induce confusion, falls, and bedridden states, and can actually increase the rate of mortality. It suggests trial of antidepressant medications, possibly combined with a mood stabilizer, to treat a mood disorder.

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