The 4 most common psychological disorders in the elderly

The elderly are one of the populations most vulnerable to psychological disorders.

It is not just the physical wear and tear on your body, but this stage of life, in many cases, coincides with times of crisis to which not everyone is able to adapt well; for example, in some cases there is more loneliness, death of friends, grief over loss of mental agility and healthy appearance, etc.

In this article we will see what are the main psychological disorders common in the elderly, As well as a description of its characteristic symptoms.

    The most common psychological disorders in the elderly

    In old age, the risk of developing certain mental disorders increases. This is not to say that the elderly themselves have poor mental health, but that statistically they are more likely to experience this type of problem in the first person, due to a combination of factors. Let’s take a look at what these relatively common psychological disorders are in the elderly.

    1. Depression

    Although many people associate old age with sadness, the truth is that those most at risk of developing this mood disorder are adults between the ages of 25 and 55. however, Depression being one of the most common disorders, it is also very present in the elderly..

    This disorder is characterized by the persistence of a bad mood for several consecutive months, a period during which feelings of hopelessness and demotivation, sadness, the tendency to avoid much more social relations and, in many cases, are common., Uncontrolled seizures. tears.

      2. Anxiety disorders

      Anxiety disorders are also very common in the elderly, as is depression. For example, they are estimated to be present in about 9% of people over 65, in some of their forms: generalized anxiety, panic disorder, agoraphobia, etc. In general, these anxiety-related disorders are more common in women than in men, regardless of age.

      Here are the main symptoms of each of these disorders:

      • Agoraphobia: Tendency to avoid places where it is felt that help will not be available in the face of possible anxiety attacks.
      • Panic disorder: Sudden anxiety attacks that cause the person to lose control of the situation, often believing that they will die.
      • Generalized Anxiety: Tendency to suffer from too much anxiety almost constantly, without big ups and downs.

      3. Outbuildings

      Addictions are very common in older people, especially men: They affect more than 1% of people over 60, alcoholism being the most common problem. It is believed that the sedentary lifestyle and frequent situations of loneliness in this age group promote the development of this addiction. In addition, in many cases, they do not have support networks to recognize that they have a problem, being away from their families (because their children have become independent and other parents have died, for example). .

      4. And with regard to neurocognitive disorders: dementias

      Dementias are not exactly psychological disorders, as their causes are mainly organic and have to do with the breakdown of nerve cells in important parts of the central nervous system. However, it is necessary to mention them here as they are very common in the elderly. About 7% of people over 60 are affected by this class of diseasesAnd this prevalence increases rapidly in the elderly from this point on: it doubles every five years.

      The main symptoms of dementia are sudden mood swings, an inconsistency between mood and what is going on around the person, short-term (early) and long-term (early) memory loss. initiative.

      Psychological support for the elderly

      In all cases where there is a psychological disorder, professional help should be sought. Psychotherapy has been shown to be effective in treating the main disorders that affect the elderly, in some cases in causing symptoms to disappear almost entirely and in others in reducing the effects on the patient’s quality of life (as in the case of dementias, which today are not covered).

      If you would like to have a team of professionals who are experienced in this type of problem and who participate in both in-person and online therapy, you can contact Advance Psychologists, Psychotherapy center located in Madrid. You will find contact details for advanced psychologists by clicking here.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Blazer, D .; Williams, CD (1980). Epidemiology of dysphoria and depression in a large population. I am J Psychiatry. 137 (4): 439-444.
      • Connolly, Kevin R .; Thase, Michael E. (2011). The clinical management of bipolar disorder: a review of the evidence-based guidelines. Supportive CNS disorder Prim Care.
      • National Collaborating Center for Mental Health. Depression. (2009). The treatment and management of depression in adults (updated edition). National Clinical Practice Guideline No. 90. London: British Psychological Society and Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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