Senior citizens, just like anyone else, can struggle with mental health issues. These mental health issues may be a natural response to difficult circumstances, or they may be due to unhealthy thought and behavior patterns. The concept of mentally unhealthy seniors tends to elude people because we often think of seniors as the wisest among us with epic life experiences informing their stability and steadfastness. While seniors do have a great deal of life experience, they can be just as prone to dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns as anyone else, and it is important that seniors have access to quality mental health resources to care for their mental well being.
When seniors have mental health issues, they are of a different nature than people of different age groups. Younger age groups tend to have more areas of the brain engaged in thought than seniors do and are more likely to reason their way out of mental trouble. Seniors tend to have mental health problems as a result of deteriorating mental faculties and must cope in different ways than younger people do. Typically, seniors have mental health problems as a result of lifelong disorders flaring up when mental faculties deteriorate, or they have acquired new mental health problems because of difficult life circumstances, which can be a natural part of aging.
Seniors who are struggling with mental health problems must be aware that mental health resources are available to them. Counseling, support groups and even mental health treatment centers are options to seniors who need help processing mental difficulties. Besides formal treatment options, there are lifestyle choices that seniors can make that will naturally help remedy negative thought and behavior patterns. Seniors should always keep community and close relationships, follow their doctor’s orders and maintain their personal health to the best of their ability, pursue whichever form of spirituality they connect most with and lead a purposeful life, even if the purpose they serve is light duty.