Contrary to popular belief, depression and anxiety are not an inevitable aspect of old age. Mental health can affect anyone – at any time in their life, and there are a number of methods to treat and combat it.
There are a number of issues surrounding older people and mental health:
Until 1980, bipolar disorder was termed ‘manic depressive disorder’. Historically, this was a term used to categorise a very wide range of severe mental illnesses that often resulted in individuals having to enter some form of intensive therapy. This has left a very bad stigma surrounding depression within the older adult community.
It can often be the case that physical illnesses such as heart disease or arthritis (both often subsequent of older age) present you with depressive symptoms such as tiredness and loss of appetite. We work closely with older adult services to ensure our patients receive the appropriate service.
Confusion and memory
Depression, stress and anxiety can often leave you feeling very confused and forgetful, which can present as early signs of dementia. This is often not the case, and in fact you may simply be suffering from anxiety or depression.
“It’s not a real illness; I’m not seeing my doctor”
Older adults often say they will only see their doctor if they’re actually physically ill, and this is just how they have been brought up. Yet, mental illness is a real illness; and it can be treated.
As a service, we are aware of these issues and aim to alleviate them to the best of our ability.
If you are aged 65 or over and have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact one of our services.
Here are some links to different sites concerning mental health and older adults: