How Aging Affects Mental Illness
Mental health should be a prioritized concern regardless of age. According to the CDC, over 20% of people over the age of 55 experience some type of mental health concern. This number is on the rise, and the severity of concerns experienced by the elderly lead to troubling statistics. For example, men over the age of 85 have one of the highest rates of suicide. The reasons behind how aging impacts mental illness are vast, but it’s important to be aware of the concerns.
Socialization is a great way to help manage mental health. Being surrounded by friends, coworkers and family members can be a positive influence and can help one maintain a schedule. As people age and enter into retirement, there can be a decrease in socialization. This can negatively impact managing depression or anxiety, along with mood disorders.
An unfortunate part of aging is grief. Losing friends, siblings and parents are devastating hardships that take time to recover. As one gets older, the experience of death tends to happen more frequently. It doesn’t hurt any less, and it is important for those experiencing grief to seek therapy or counseling.
Another part of aging that can drastically affect mental health is the physical impairment that comes with aging. Decreasing mobility, hearing and vision impairments, and complications with medications can create symptoms of anxiety.
Even if someone spent their entire childhood and adult life without experiencing concerns regarding mental health, it is possible and increasingly common for aging people to experience late onset depression for a variety of reasons including the ones discussed above.
The concerns surrounding mental health and aging are serious, and it is important that elderly people are able to seek resources to help manage their symptoms. At ITM, our team of licensed therapists and counselors can provide the right treatment and services for you or a loved one who is experiencing concerns about their age and mental health.