5 Mental Disorders that Appear Frequently in Older Adults

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Mental health disorders are fairly common among the elderly, and they can be extremely debilitating when left untreated. While many of these conditions can’t be completely cured, doctors have come up with a variety of amazing methods for treating the symptoms. Here’s a quick glimpse at some of the most common mental disorders that occur in seniors and a few steps that can be taken to address these conditions. 

1. Anxiety

Stress is a perfectly natural response to certain stimuli, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming or last for a long time. Chronic anxiety is usually characterized by irritability, restlessness, or hypervigilance that lasts for more than a few days. To treat chronic anxiety, seniors may need to undergo long-term therapy and psychological counseling. Some seniors with anxiety are also treated with medication, but drugs are usually prescribed to only temporarily address the symptoms. 

Mental health issues such as anxiety are just some of the challenges that can affect seniors in their golden years. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality homecare services. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

2. Depression

Many people don’t realize that ongoing depression can impact almost every facet of an individual’s health. In addition to impacting mental wellbeing, it also increases the risk of several physical health problems. Some of the most common signs of clinical depression include social isolation, feelings of worthlessness, and losing interest in activities the person once loved. It can also produce physical side effects, such as sudden changes in weight or appearance. Much like anxiety, depression is usually treated with long-term therapy. 

Having the companionship of a compassionate caregiver may help your loved one who’s been diagnosed with depression. For families living in Coral Gables, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

There are quite a few reasons obsessive-compulsive disorder is so common among the elderly. While some people are born with this condition, it can also be triggered by certain medications. Seniors can also develop this condition because of sudden changes to the chemicals in the brain. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the leading treatment options for this disorder, but some doctors also prescribe SSRIs and antidepressants to people who have OCD. 

4. Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia have many similar symptoms, but these conditions are slightly different. Those who have schizoaffective disorder rarely experience psychotic symptoms, but they often experience revolving periods of elation and depression. An antipsychotic drug called paliperidone is the only medication approved by the FDA to treat this disorder, and it must be combined with psychotherapy and counseling. SSRIs are often used to address the symptoms of this disorder as well.

5. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD often goes untreated for years, and this condition can be caused by many different types of trauma. In addition to past abuse, PTSD can also be triggered by common life events, such as getting into an auto accident or experiencing the death of a loved one. Some of the signs of PTSD include irritability, depression, sudden mood swings, and social isolation. Seniors who experience these symptoms for more than a month should contact a therapist to explore their treatment options.

Addressing their mental issues can make it easier for older adults to continue aging in place. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust Coral Gables elder care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she lives with an illness and performs the daily tasks of living. Call Home Care Assistance at 1 (305) 964-5636 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.