Aging affects not only physical health conditions but mental as well. It is found that elderly people are more prone to suffer from anxiety, depression, and other severe mental health conditions. We as a family should care about the overall wellbeing of our elders that covers a broad spectrum of mental health conditions as well.
Here are some of the most common questions about mental health conditions answered-
Q- How would I know if my loved one is suffering from a mental health condition?
Finding out if your loved one is struggling with any severe mental health condition can be tough at times. But there are some obvious signs which you must look out for. These signs can be-
- Mood swings
- Change in behavior
- Eating disorder
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Loss of appetite
- Cutting out communication
- Changes in daily routine
- Smoking and drinking excessively
- Feeling sad, hopeless, and unwanted
- Low energy and tiredness.
- Suicidal thoughts
Although some of the above changes mentioned may occur only due to hormonal imbalance, and condition may improve with time. Still, if left untreated, it can even be fatal and life-threatening.
Q– Can I consider changes in behavior and overall personality a normal part of the aging process?
There are two sides to looking at this. The first one involves a recently occurred major change in his/her life, such as losing a spouse, retirement, being diagnosed with a disease, etc. If this is the case, it is possible that they are just sad about the major changes happening in life and will recover with time. But if you observe the grief and sadness persistent over the years, they require help.
Q- Can mental disorders be treated?
Yes, mental disorders are completely curable with the right treatment at the right time. Some of the common treatments a doctor may suggest are psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, instructions to bring a change in daily lifestyle, etc. They may even prescribe medications to help relieve the frustration and sadness.
Q- What should I do if my loved one is having suicidal thoughts?
First of all, you need to understand that aging is a complex process. And there are many factors associated with it. If you hear sentences like “I don’t feel needed in this world anymore” or “I should die,” these can be signs that your loved one is frustrated and needs immediate help.
Take them to a doctor and talk them through the process. Never leave them alone and try to listen to what they have to say.
Q- What is my loved one who resists being treated?
It is possible that your loved one may decide that they do not want help. Nobody wants to be considered a weal ling or a burden for their family.
Family members should talk to their loved ones and try to explain calmly about the benefits and provide them with emotional and mental Support. You can also talk to your doctor about the situation and ask for advice to figure out a healthy way.