Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act as we cope with life. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, including as we age.
Many older adults are at risk for mental health problems. But this does not mean that mental health problems are a normal part of aging. Studies show that most older adults feel satisfied with their lives, even though they may have more illnesses or physical problems.
Sometimes, however, important life changes can make you feel uneasy, stressed, and sad. These changes could include the death of a loved one, retirement, or dealing with a serious illness. Many older adults will eventually adjust to the changes. But some people will have more trouble adjusting. This can put them at risk for mental disorders such as depression and Anxiety disorders.
It's important to recognize and treat mental disorders in older adults. These disorders don't just cause mental suffering. They can also make it harder for you to manage other health problems. This is especially true if those health problems are chronic.
Some of the warning signs of mental disorders in older adults include
If you think that you may have a mental health problem, get help. Talk therapy and/or medicines can treat mental disorders. If you don't know where to start, contact your primary care provider.
Source: U.S National Library of Medicine (MedlinePlus)