Though they're not a normal part of aging, mental health problems are common among seniors. These mental health issues include:
Amongst all the mental health issues in older people, depression is the most common.
Depression causes tremendous suffering, including the inability to function in daily life. Older people with symptoms of depression can even fare worse than those with chronic medical conditions. That means depression at an advanced age can lead to poorer functioning than lung disease, hypertension, or diabetes. That's a big deal.
Depression can be caused by:
Research has also shown that other factors can increase the risk of depression without necessarily being the cause of depression. Here are some of them:
Older adults with chronic medical conditions like stroke, heart disease, or cancer have higher rates of depression than those who are healthy.
Other physical challenges can contribute to the development of depression in old age. For example, limited mobility due to frailty or fractures: some older adults relish mobility and its independence. If that independence is lost, depression can set in. For men, erectile dysfunction, ED, can be a source of worry, too.
As you age, you are more likely to experience a decrease in deep sleep. Your sleep may also be more fragmented, and you will wake up more often at night. The result will be a less refreshing sleep experience.
Research suggests that seniors suffer from disrupted personal ties and loneliness. That means losing family members and loved ones to death or migration can result in depression. Seniors can also suffer from regrets and fear of dying.
Physical activity eases symptoms of depression and makes you feel better. Exercise also helps keep depression from coming back.
Here are some healthy lifestyle changes you can make which can have long-term benefits for your mental health:
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