Hello, this is Dr. Sagnik Mukherjee.
We are now, much more aware of elderly people among us, thanks to media and digital media. But the study says that still now many of them are suffering in silence every day.
This is very unfortunate that in a country like ours, we do love to live with myths and always turn head from the scientific or medical explanations or truth. There are many myths in the air about the relationship between aging and mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety are normal signs in elderly people.
Well, they certainly not. And for these statements of mass or generalized statements, many elderly adults silently suffer from mental illnesses that are actually very much treatable. Here we must know that even normal emotional as well as physical stresses can be major risk factors in advanced ages & can be converted into anxiety & depression.
As per the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation, the list of a few potential mental illnesses is as follows:
Physical disabilities that make active people in the frustrating dependable mode
Long-term illnesses like cardiac problems or cancer
Dementia-causing illness or aka Alzheimer’s disease
Change of environment is also a contributing factor; it is to some extent similar to the first point
Malnutrition is also a very common problem among elderly people. In their entire life, they think about the nutrition of their children but poor diet grasps them at the elderly age for many reasons.
Losing loved ones creates great pain in people, and at the elderly age that is unbearable
Interactions of medicines sometimes create an imbalance in the body& that creates mental disorders
Substance abuse, consumption of liquor can also be targeted
It is quite understandable why many of us, or should I said everybody tries to hide mental problems in elderly people, because of the most vital problem of our country which is the social stigma associated with all types of mental disorders. It is not too hard to understand why older adults and their families are afraid of psychiatrists.
Well, let’s have a look at some warning signs among older adults as per the suggestions of the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation.
Sadness or bad mood that lasts longer more than two weeks
Sudden or Slowly Social withdrawal or loss of joy in things once was joyful
Feelings of old enough to die, not a worthy life, not suitable for society anymore.
Funny but Older people love to make decisions, it is a part of our society so suddenly if they are confused, always lost, and can make decisions we must worry about that.
The person who takes care of all finance-related issues and records them suddenly having difficulty with it and can’t even work with numbers anymore.
Do not hesitate to visit a psychiatrist or psychologist if you are watching these warning signs or any other signs in older adults of your family. They have taken care of us, they sacrificed almost everything for us, and they must not suffer in silence.