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Geriatric psychiatrists treat elderly patients who suffer from mental and emotional illnesses that make it hard for them to cope with everyday living or to behave in socially acceptable ways. The most common problems treated are dementia and depression, although the elderly can have the same range of disorders as the rest of the population. Often, though, these disorders are not properly diagnosed. According to an article in Psychiatric News, experts estimated that one in five seniors has clinically significant anxiety and one in 12 is dependent on alcohol. In addition, these estimates may actually be low since mental illnesses in the elderly are often misdiagnosed or missed altogether.
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