What You Need to Know about Mental Illnesses among Seniors

What You Need to Know about Mental Illnesses among Seniors

There are two kinds of depression. One is a feeling, a mood of constant sadness and feelings of blue. This is what the renowned YouTube star Prince Ea meant about in his video entitled “You are Not Depressed.”

The second is clinical depression. Unlike the first type, clinical depression is characterized by feelings of extreme and persistent sadness. This is accompanied by the patient’s withdrawal from activities they previously enjoyed, physical discomforts, and difficulty in getting a good night’s rest.

Seniors also feel this intense emotion. But who could blame them? Who would not feel depressed after being left alone in the house for the whole day and the whole week? Who would not feel down when you do not have someone to accompany you or to talk with you all day?

Below are some of the facts you need to know about the depression felt by our elderly family members:

    There are elderly individuals who experience a late onset of depression. The risk of having this condition is greater especially due to:

    • Alcohol abuse
    • Weakened functional status
    • Low educational attainment (especially those who did not graduate high school)
    • Poor health
    • Widowhood

    Unlike what people say, not all adults aging 50 years old and older succumb to depression. In fact, only 7.7% from this age group experience such condition. While 15.7% of the population were reported to have a lifetime diagnosis.

    Depression can be treated and most of these treatments are successful. But the good news does not just end there. Those elderly adults who have submitted themselves to treatment improve their health drastically.

You know that one feeling when you worry more about things. And no, we are not talking about worrying about things for now and enjoying the second after. We are talking about the kind of anxiety that does not leave you but continues to bug you all throughout the day.

This even leads to worse cases which then interrupt with your daily routine and rituals. It can become unhealthy. And what is definitely more disturbing is the fact that this condition affects our elderly.

  • Like depression, anxiety is common among the elderly. Both of which even join forces. There are cases of older adults who were diagnosed with clinical depression and show signs of anxiety at the same time.
  • Experts are still unsure of what late-life anxiety is. But they believe that it is the same with the anxiety experienced by the younger age groups. The only difference they have seen as of now is that late-life anxiety differs on how and when the condition surfaces than early-life anxiety.
  • Just like the problem of all mental illness, anxiety is often less diagnosed. This is because older adults dismiss it as if it is not important and dangerous. Seniors showing anxiety almost always just emphasize their complaints about their physical well-being.
  • Only 10% of adults belonging to the age bracket of 50 and above show diagnosis of anxiety.
  • Lifetime diagnosis of anxiety is more prevalent among those who are diagnosed with the condition while they were still on the 50s to their 60s. Older individuals aging 65 or older are less likely to have anxiety when they were still younger.
  • Hispanics older adults are more likely to have a report of lifetime diagnosis of anxiety disorder.
  • Older women are more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety than older men.

Help the older members of your family fight off the late onset of mental conditions such as depression and anxiety. Pamper them with your attention by looking into what they need. Reassure them that everything will be alright and that you will always be by their side whenever things get rough.

But of course, there are times when we are so busy with our responsibilities that we have no time for our loved ones. In this case, RiteChoice Family Services, Inc., provider of Senior Home Care in Pennsylvania is here to the rescue!


Blogs, content and other media uploaded online are for informational purposes only. Contents on this website should not be considered medical advice. Readers are strongly encouraged to visit their physician for health-related issues.

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