There’s so much questions and confusion around mental health and the services required for adults. With all the assumptions present and vocally rampant, it is dangerous to take each piece at face value without fully knowing and understanding the context behind the sensitive nature of mental health services for adults.
There are as many as one in five older adults that experience mental health concerns that are uncommon and unnatural part of aging. The most common of these mental health concerns are mood disorders or anxiety, such as depression. These mental health concerns typically respond to treatment in most cases. However, the sad truth is that older adults never receive or do not seek treatment or help that they critically need. If left untreated or undiagnosed, these mental health concerns create serious and critical implications for older adults as well as their loved ones.
We have compiled a few helpful facts about mental health services for adults that might help you gain more knowledge and understanding in order for you to be able to respond appropriately to situations.
Mental health problem is not normal and not part of aging
While most people observes this inaccurately but mental health problems can’t be associated to the normal part of aging. While most older adults experience a lot of losses, a sign that an older adult has a clinical depression is when deep sadness lingers. On the same context, an anxiety disorder is completely different from normal worries. Some facts below:
- Around six percent of older adults have depressive illnesses that can be diagnosed.
- One in four Americans adults have mental disorder during any year that can be diagnosed.
Mental health is equally important as physical health
A great mental health basically contributes to the overall great feeling of well-being. Just as you put a ton of importance of physical health to stay healthy and functioning, an untreated mental health disorder can definitely diminish your ability to function and can even lead to other concerns, such as poor quality of life, substance abuse, increased mortality. Moreover, research has proven that mental illness can contribute to the slow healing of physical illness.
Older adults that are healthy are more prone to grow, thrive and enjoy life
Exercising both your mind and body at the same time maintaining your social connections are definitely good for your mental health. Walking, reading and socializing are just among the activities that keep you live and enjoy life at any part of your age.
Regardless of your medical history, older adults are at risk for mental health problems
More mental health problems can appear late in life even though most older adults spend a lifetime managing chronic mental health illness. Parkinson’s disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, or diabetes as well as some medications can lead to mental health deterioration. Even older adults without a history of any substance abuse may abuse drugs, alcohol or medication at a later part of their lives.
One of the major risks among adults is suicide
Today, the suicide rate is at a highest among older adults. A couple of facts below:
- The suicide attempts of older adults are far more lethal. There is one suicide for every four attempts for those aged 65 years old and above compared to the one suicide for every twenty attempts for all of the other age groups.
- The highest suicide rate is from those aged 85 years old and above and the second highest is from those aged 75 to 84.
The following symptoms may need a call for help:
- Sadness that is observed to be lasting more than 2 weeks
- Consistent worrying of regular issues, such as health, family and money
- Consistent difficulty of concentrating or focus or trouble sleeping
- Feeling confused even in familiar places or high frequency of trouble remembering things
- Taking more medication than prescribed or having more than one alcoholic drink a day
It is common to misdiagnose or avoid
- Only around fifty percent or around half of older adults who discuss their mental health issues receive appropriate and adequate treatment from physician
- About fifty percent of the time physical care physicians fail to diagnose depression
Older adults may not automatically have mental health problems but they have a unique need for mental health care
As mental health problem should not be naturally associated to aging, older adults have changing chemistry and bodies as well as changing family, relationships and friendships. Most of all, older adults go through different changes of living situations throughout their lifetime. All of these have an effect on their overall mental health and they all need to be considered in the treatment.