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Posted by: Health, Nutrition and Fitness on 12/10/2017

Psychotic Breaks in Seniors and Depression in our Parents and Grandparents

Psychotic Breaks in Seniors and Depression in our Parents and Grandparents

I remember watching my grandmother suffer psychotic break for the first time. It was devastating because the stories around the neighbourhood were really discouraging and I watched my relatives calmly wait for her death. This sickness was categorized as ‘old age’ by the village ‘doctors’ who know every disease and I watched my grandmother perish sue to depression.

Did you know that approximately ten adults aged 55 years or older have at least once experienced a mental health related issue? The sad part is only five of those seniors receive medical attention. Early signs of mental disorders among the elderly should be taken seriously as they can result in memory loss or cognitive impairment, to say the least.

Here are some ways to recognize depression and mental breaks in seniors.

  1. Pessimism

A feeling of hopelessness surrounds most seniors when depression starts to creep in. This feeling can be caused by aging or a sense of worthlessness. It’s true that we are all bound to get old one day, and when you can’t move like you used to or do simple chores as easily, it can get to your head.

Most seniors get this feeling of helplessness especially after the loss of a loved one. Nonetheless, it can be treated early with the right self-care and support programs and prevent further damage to the nervous system or the brain. Pessimism is also a symptom of mental illness so seniors acting reclusive and looking helpless should be given a morale boost and medical attention.

2. Memory loss

Memory loss is a depression and psychotic break sign that a lot of people ignore because it is also associated with old age. Despite that being true, memory loss (especially short–term memory problems) is a severe mental health concern and should not be overlooked in seniors. Regular forgetting is understandable in older adults, but when your loved one starts forgetting things consistently consider seeking medical advice.

Extreme anxiety and long-term depression can also be identified early through memory loss. If given time to materialize, typical forgetful behavior can turn into a full psychotic breakdown and not many seniors survive.

3.    Fluctuating appetite

It is normal to want to eat some days more than others. However, a sudden spike or decrease can be an indication of a mental health problem. Considering most seniors don’t eat as much as other adults do, a change in weight is reasonable. Nonetheless, maintaining it is the perfect proof for health.

When an older adult experiences sudden weight loss, it could be a sign of depression or an impending psychotic break. Although most seniors lose weight drastically, others start overeating and gaining weight fast. Both signs should not be ignored.

4.    Unexplained Fatigue and Changes in Sleep Pattern

Seniors look tired almost all the time. A walk from the house to the driveway can leave most of them breathing as if they walked for a hundred kilometers. While fatigue is common at old age, it is also a sign of depression and mental illness. Seniors suffering from mental health or depression tend to feel tired for little to no reason and have decreased energy levels.

Also, sleeping patterns change from insomnia to waking up very early in the morning and oversleeping. If a senior loved one starts complaining of feeling slowed down, seek medical attention at once as it could be either of the two illnesses in this discussion.

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