Mental Health Issues Faced By The Elderly

“I am not crazy “

This is what one says when asked to seek a psychiatrist. The questions which arise from the previous statement are : Why does one need a psychiatrist? What makes a person see a psychiatrist?


As what our topic is all about, let us understand what mental health is – it defines a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being. Its is all about how we think, feel, and behave. Today 1 out of 4 people is suffering from mental health issues, be it a kid, a teenager, an adult or an elderly. In today’s scenario, according to a recent CDC report, over 20% of adults ages 55 or older have had a mental health concern, but only about two out of three received treatment. To give proper treatment and assist them, we need to know who are elderly.

Elderly has been defined as a chronological age of 65 years old or older. Older people have a depleting health that needs constant care and management. As a person grows into a older age ,they need a constant support system with whom they can share their problems, their experiences, their stories and not feel lonely. It is rightly said ,an older person needs the same attention as a toddler requires. The process of growing up to an elderly includes a path full of highs and lows. Sometimes we learn from our mistakes and move on but  sometimes we fall. It takes a lot of  strength and courage to stand up again because once we fall it becomes a pathway to a lot of issues and they slowly and steadily steals every reason for a person to come back.

 Here are some of the most common mental health illnesses experienced by older adults:

1. Depression

Depression is a type of mood disorder that ranks as the most pervasive mental health concern among older adults. If untreated, it can lead to physical and mental impairments and impede social functioning. 

2. Anxiety

Like depression, anxiety is a very common mood disorder among the elderly. In fact, these two problems often appear in tandem. Anxiety in seniors is thought to be under diagnosed because older adults tend to emphasize physical problems and downplay psychiatric symptoms. 

3. Bipolar Disorders

Bipolar disorders, or manic-depressive illnesses, are often marked by unusual mood shifts and are frequently misdiagnosed in senior citizens because the symptoms presented are typical with the aging process, especially related to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Living with mental illness is not easy. It’s a consistent problem without a clear solution. The very first step to overcome these issues is to help yourself. There are many self help techniques for coping with mental illness such as

1. Radical Acceptance

Radical acceptance is “completely and totally accepting something from the depths of your soul, with your heart and your mind.

Accept yourself. Accept your condition. Then take the necessary steps to take care of yourself.

2. Deep Breathing

Breathing is an annoying cliché at this point, but that’s because the best way to calm anxiety really is to breathe deeply. When battling anxiety, turn to the concept of “5 3 7” breathing:

  • Breathe in for 5 seconds
  • Hold the breath for 3 seconds
  • Breathe out for 7 seconds

3. Seek a psychiatrist

There is no shame in seeking or taking help from a psychiatrist. If there is any problem which you cannot share with anyone, he is the one to guide you to the right pathway.

 It takes strength and persistence to recover from mental illness—to keep fighting symptoms in the hopes of feeling better. Even if you feel weak or powerless against the battles you face every day, you are incredibly strong for living through them.

We all have to come together and move people suffering from mental illnesses from a ‘position of disease and disability to one of hope and recovery.’

Find a BUDDY to share all your problems with (even anonymously, if you want) on the FeelJoy Mobile App available for all Android users. DOWNLOAD THE FEELJOY APP HERE.

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