What are Common Mental Health Issues as People Age?
It’s not easy getting older. It’s not easy watching your parents get older. You remember when they were younger and in great health. Aside from failing physical health, as people age, they can also begin to deal with mental health issues. Not every adult child prepares themselves for the mental health issues their parents will deal with as they age. Let’s explore some of the most common senior citizens’ mental health issues.
Disorders Related to Anxiety
One of the most common senior mental health issues prevalent today is that of anxiety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that close to half of older adults who suffer from anxiety also suffer from depression. Anxiety in older people tends to be downplayed because the elderly focus more on their physical ailments than anything else. Elderly women are more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety compared to elderly men.
The risk factors for suffering anxiety at an older age include:
- Problems with sleeping
- Having a feeling of poor health
- Diabetes, COPD, cardiovascular diseases
- A traumatic childhood
- Any physical impairment that limits daily functions
- Medication side effects
- A life-altering event such as loss of a spouse or suffering from a serious medical issue
Depression has been ranked by multiple entities as the most prevalent mental disorder among the elderly. If this mental health issue goes untreated, the elderly person can struggle with daily life and even suffer physical health problems. The symptoms of depression include chronic sadness, discomfort, physical pain, problems with sleeping, an overall slowing down in life, and losing enjoyment in previously enjoyed activities.
The elderly can also suffer from bipolar disorder. A manic-depressive disorder is often exhibited by quick changes in mood and is often misdiagnosed. Why? The symptoms that come with bipolar disorder often mimic those associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia. In the elderly, bipolar disorder occurs the same amount in men and women.
Anorexia and bulimia are becoming more common among the senior citizens across the country. It might take a while for an eating disorder to be detected and treated in the elderly because of underlying psychological issues. If this is the case, an elderly person with an eating disorder can be subjected to dire consequences.
Warning Signs of Elderly Mental Health Issues
If you have an elderly parent or loved one, be sure to look for the following warning signs so you can provide mental health first aid for seniors:
- Changes in their personal care
- Changes in their mood
- Withdrawal socially
- Issues with memory
These four warning signs are the ones that are present in the majority of cases involving elderly people who suffer from mental health problems.
Worried About Your Elderly Parent? Call GMP Medical Today
Are you worried about your elderly parents and their mental health? Be sure to speak with an experienced medical professional about what you can do to help them. Call GMP Medical today at (305) 823-2433 to schedule an appointment.
July 11, 2019 2:20 pm
Categories: Senior Health