The Older you get you want to Die, by Zeidra Hall

Death is known as a positive sign of a loss or a negative. It is simply something that dismantles us of experiences and memories, of time spent with our families, spouse, and children. Death can be something that deprives us of things we value such as living. What some humans do not realize is that living for too long may be a loss also. The stereotype I choose to explore that interested me was older adults wanting to die. There have been experiences in my life where I have known older adults who wanted to die to escape the pain or suffering opposed to older adults who have a feeling of leaving earth because of the impact they have had, and not wanting to let go of everything they value just yet. In my research I have conducted, I have found four sources, which support and refute my choice of stereotypes.

In the first article I read, “Facial recognition of happiness among older adults with active and remitted major depression” evaluates how facial expressions can be linked to the process of emotions linked to depressive episodes. In the article, it conducted that, depressive episodes are not a blue mood but rather interprets persistent feelings of sadness and worthlessness and a lack of desire to engage in formerly pleasurable activities that involve many interactions (Kohler 2011). The purpose of this study was to indicate if these depressive episodes leads to major depression by investigating the sensitivity of happy facial expressions, and comparing them to facial performances in emotion recognition, which were divided into three groups of older adults, which were either active major depressive disorder, major depressive disorder in remission, or no previous history of depression.

The methods of this study were conducted with participants who were 55 years of age and older from primary care and psychiatric outpatient clinics and lived at a medical center for more than two years. They used a system which diagnosis a statistical manual of mental disorders and diseases, called Operational Criteria Diagnostic System. Participants from the major depressive group showed they had at least one depressive episode, opposed to the other participant groups they did not have an episode or showed any depressing symptoms. Another method they used was Facial emotion recognition tasks, which collected facial images taken from the facial expressions of emotions through stimuli and many tests. It was broken up into different sessions such as one group who were in a quiet room with a computer screen where they had to answer questions according to mood, and the other sessions consisted of participants who were asked to respond quickly to an image that popped up or short sentence. Within these different models of studies, they were used to test for group differences in their reaction time, sensitivity, and emotion.

The results from active and remitted depressed patients did not show sign of depressive episodes, although it was easy to determine the emotional cognition in these patients through their facial expressions. Equally, there was a significant difference in gender recognition between the group and this can suggest the “misperception of happy faces represents a persistent bias beyond a depressive state, and the depressed subjects require a higher intensity threshold to accurately identify positive emotions” (Johns 2011).  In conclusion, of the study, happy facial expressions reflect depression among older adult by the sensitivity recognition but there needs to be further research on recognition of happy expressions that reflects the motives for major depression in older adults. Overall, this study refutes my stereotype of choice because they do not have evidence-based research that does not require further research findings. It does not correlate with the reasoning behind older adults wanting to die.

In my second article, “Depression status and related predictors in later life: A 10-year follow-up study in Israel” is a study that was conducted to investigate factors associated with depression in a 10-year follow-up in Israel of their community. I wanted to conduct research from various context to see if their norms are different from the U.S.  This study conducted how older adults become depressed by having a low socio-economic status. This leads to factors of having low health care, cognitive dysfunctions, less educated, physically inactive and widowhood. The longitudinal studies have investigated the interrelationships between these risk factors and connection to socio-economic factors, which leads to depression (Dines, 2014). In relation to my serotype, depression is a key factor of uncertainty in life.

The methods they used in the study was broken up into three sections, which were; Health, Aging, and Retirement of participants aged 50 and older. They tested twelve systems of domains of common emotions people experience, which has led to the socio-economic factors.

In conclusion, their results showed that women were accounted for the majority of the study and they were more depressed. The socio-economic has a huge role in the cause of depression, which can be caused by lack of education, or unemployment. It is the highest amongst women due to having children and are not receiving finical support, or from a spouse. The risks factor leads to poor health and advantages to want to die because their severely depressed.  This supports my stereotype because it leads up to factors as to why older adults want to die. These risk factors have a significance whether or not older adults are capable of taking care of these factors or becoming depressed from it.

In my third article, “Mood Changes in Cognitively Normal Older Adults Are Linked to Alzheimer Disease Biomarker Levels”, is about the, depressive symptoms and how they develop Alzheimer diseases. In their methods of research, there was a longitudinal study assessing Alzheimer disease with older adults through simple tasks. They measured the rate of moods in short forms to be positive or negative, total mood disturbance, and the rate an older person can remember. Within the 66 participants in the study, they were tested to be cognitively normal which was indicated by the (CDR) Clinical Dementia Rating exams and interviews participant’s changes in moods over time. The CDR was able to predict increased mood disturbances in a longitudinal study over time with older adults.  Alchemizes disease is a result of the impact of mood changes but cannot be recognized in clinical studies. This study contradicts my serotype, as it does not have enough evidence to determine the likely hood of older adults wanting to die. It focuses on other aspects to aging such as getting Alzheimer’s or any disease. Mood changes are relevant in older adults which led’ to anger, sadness, confusion, and irritable but this study does not provide facts based on my stereotype.

Lastly, in my research findings the article, “Feeling Blue at the end of Life: Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms from a Distance to Death Perspective” is about the late life development of depressive symptoms regarding normative changes in age. According to the article, life late changes in depressive symptoms are characterized by variations or individual development clustered around risk factors. This relates to the second article I read and how depression symptoms are caused by risk factors especially those in support of the socio-economic status, which supports my stereotype. The methods used to conduct the study was used from the English longitudinal study of aging (2002).  Negative emotions and reactions were collected from this study that makes the older adult feel down about one is life as if they haven’t done enough. There was also evidence that was proven to show a spouse can cause depression if there is no emotional support or reciprocal interactions from a spouse. The results were based on daily interactions as well as short questioners they provided a sense of emotions of well-being, surroundings, environment, and immediate interactions. Some of these depressive factors have been shown to influence death to get a “burden” off them (Gerstorf. 2010).  This supports my stereotype to an extent about how much of a burden older adult’s feel they have on people due to a cognition of emotion resulting in death and feeling unwanted.


“Feeling Blue at the End of Life: Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms from a Distance-to-death Perspective.” Information for Practice. N.p., 05 Dec. 2016. Web. 07 Feb. 2017.

Babulal, Ganesh M., Nupur Ghoshal, Denise Head, Elizabeth K. Vernon, David M. Holtzman, Tammie L.s. Benzinger, Anne M. Fagan, John C. Morris, and Catherine M. Roe. “Mood Changes in Cognitively Normal Older Adults Are Linked to Alzheimer Disease Biomarker Levels.” The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 24.11 (2016): 1095-104. Web.

Shiroma, Paulo R., Paul Thuras, Brian Johns, and Kelvin O. Lim. “Facial Recognition of Happiness among Older Adults with Active and Remitted Major Depression.” Psychiatry Research 243 (2016): 287-91. Web.

Khalaila, Rabia. “Depression Statuses and Related Predictors in Later Life: A 10-year Follow-up Study in Israel.” European Journal of Ageing 13.4 (2016): 311-21. Web.


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