Causes of Mental Health Issues and Risk Factors in Senior Citizens
One major challenge in diagnosing as well as treating elderly individuals with mental issues is that seniors are less likely to report that they are experiencing psychological issues. This is not the case when it comes to physical issues because they never hesitate to report or seek medication whenever they see signs of any physical illness. Elderly individuals are more likely to experience physical stress and emotional stress due to various reasons, which are usually associated with aging.
However, even the typical physical and emotional stress that is usually associated with old age can cause anxiety or depression. There are a variety of causes and triggers of mental illness in seniors. You may need 2019 medicare advantage plans Knowing these triggers and causes is the first step towards preventing and treating mental illness that an elderly person can suffer from. Here are some of the most common possible triggers.
- Chronic pain
Chronic pain is very common among the elderly and it can interfere with their appetite. This could mean that an elderly person who is experiencing chronic pain could skip meals and even avoid eating foods that help in keeping the brain healthy. If this goes on for long, it can increase their risk for mental illness.
- Physical disabilities
Physical disabilities and mobility issues are common among seniors. An elderly person with physical disability might withdraw from the physical activities he or she used to enjoy, and might spend a lot of time alone thinking of how life has changed for the worse. Continues social isolations can result into depression or anxiety.
- Physical impairments
Physical impairments also fall under the top triggers of mental illnesses among the elderly. Physical impairments like adrenal diseases or thyroid affect memory, thoughts, and emotions of the patient, and can lead to mental illness.
- Certain medications
There are so many medications that have direct effects on a person’s moods, thoughts, and memory. These medications can negatively affect the thought process of a person and make them aggressive, agitated, or anxious. If taken for a long time, such medications can trigger mental illness.
- Drug abuse or heavy alcohol consumption
Some elderly individuals tend to resort to alcohol and drugs when they are stressed up or when they are experiencing chronic pain. It is important to understand that alcohol can increase the level of stress hormones, and drugs can alter the functioning of the brain. This makes an individual more prone to mental illness.