Mental Health In Elderly
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Most of the elderly generation shows signs of confusion, forgetfulness and depression. While in some cases these could be inconsequential, in others they could signify the onset of some major mental ailment. Of all the mental problems arising with old age, depression certainly tops the charts. The incidence of this problem is higher in women.
The symptoms of the condition mostly go unnoticed by the patient that may manifest in the form of disturbed or decreased sleep, self-esteem, libido, appetite, interest, energy, concentration, memory and movement; unexplained feelings of guilt, pain and suicidal tendency. Depression is often linked with diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, cancer, congestive heart failure, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and sexual dysfunction. Depression could also be a side effect of the intake of certain medicines that include anticancer drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs and progesterone.
Dementia is a term encompassing many mental disorders in the elderly, of which the most common stands to be the Alzheimer’s disease. In the initial stages, Alzheimer’s disease could be evident through loss of memory, difficulties in vocabulary and motor functioning, inability to identify objects and incompetence in tasks such as planning and organizing. Treatment can be more affective if commenced early. However, medication can only suppress the symptoms of the disease but cannot cure it. Circumstances like surgery, anesthesia, drug toxicity, and infections like UTI can lead to the incidence of a mental problem called delirium. The disorder is more commonly observed in women and can be identified by means of symptoms such as sudden reduced ability to concentrate, disturbed consciousness, sudden onset of misperceptions, impaired judgment and increased or reduced motor activity. Psychosis or schizophrenia or bipolar disorder is a terminology assigned to mental disorders that showcase in the form of instability of thought and behavior. The condition also manifests as alternating phases of depression and mania. Although the disease is prevalent in both, the young and old but depression occurs as part of the disorder mainly in the elderly.
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