Mental health in the elderly

BY DR. SYED SHAZIA RIZVI

Depression, Suicide, Anxiety Disorders, Drug Addiction, For various reasons, several studies suggest that mental health issues are increasing exponentially in Kashmir and senior citizens are no exception.

There are many risk factors for mental health problems at different stages of life and advanced age itself is found to be one of the risk factors for mental problems.

Significant ongoing loss of abilities and diminished functional capacity, impaired mobility, chronic pain, frailty, associated comorbidities, declining socioeconomic status after retirement, and elder abuse are predisposing conditions that have a negative impact on the mental health of the elderly. .

All of these stressors can lead to isolation, loneliness or psychological distress. Globally, more than 20% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental or neurological disorder.

The most common mental and neurological disorders in this age group are dementia and depression, which affect approximately 5% and 7% of the world’s elderly population, respectively. Anxiety disorders affect 3.8% of the elderly population.

Also, mental illnesses in older people can be difficult to recognize because older people may have different symptoms than younger people. In some older people with depression, low mood is not their main symptom.

Instead, they may exhibit memory problems, confusion, social withdrawal, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, irritability, and in some cases, delusions and hallucinations.


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