It’s hardly surprising that some people who experience AMD also experience symptoms of depression. Besides the emotional and psychological aspects, vision loss might be accompanied by other unexpected challenges, such as relationship pressures, early retirement, loss or limitation of daily activities, and the need to think more about the aging process in general. All of these can contribute to feelings of loss, lowered self-esteem, dependency, isolation, and despair.
What is surprising, though, is that until recently, very little attention was given to the relationship between depression and AMD. Thankfully, that is beginning to change.
We now know that older adults who are diagnosed with AMD are anywhere from two to three times as likely to experience moderate to severe symptoms of depression than others in their age group. And that makes AMD a big risk factor for depression, even when compared to other life-changing events such as a major illness.
Depression is more than just anger or sadness associated with adjusting to the condition of AMD – it is a clinical disease in its own right, with symptoms that can last weeks or months and have significant detrimental effects on a person’s daily living. Fortunately, there are a number of effective treatment options available for those living with AMD and depression. And they can make an enormous difference in returning quality of life.
Recognizing that information about depression and AMD is extremely important and often overlooked – this part of our Web site will explore the issue in the following sections:
This picture shows the eyeball, or globe, with a cut-away revealing the retina, the macula, the fovea at the very centre of the macula, and the optic nerve leading to the brain.
Explores the nature of this disease, how it specifically affects people who have AMD, and how it can be treated.
How the various characteristics of AMD, whether in its wet or dry form, can lead to depression. The roll of sleep deprivation and hallucinations (Charles Bonnet Syndrome) is also discussed.
For AMD patients and eye care professionals alike this section provides a survey of major scientific research into visual impairment and depression, with full citations provided in case you want more information about any of the studies
If you have AMD and you think you might suffer from depression, you’re not alone. You’ll find personal accounts from other AMD patients, and you’ll learn how they dealt with their depression in the personal account section.
AMD Alliance International is not a medical organisation, therefore we can only provide general information that is not intended to be a substitute for a proper medical assessment. Please read our eye health information disclaimer.