As people age, they may experience certain life changes that impact their mental health, such as coping with a serious illness or losing a loved one. Although many people will adjust to these life changes, some may experience feelings of grief, social isolation, or loneliness. When these feelings persist, they can lead to mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety.
Mental health is important at every stage of life. Effective treatment options are available to help older adults manage their mental health and improve their quality of life. Recognizing the signs and seeing a health care provider are the first steps to getting treatment.
What are symptoms of mental disorders in older adults?
- Noticeable changes in mood, energy level, or appetite
- Feeling flat or having trouble feeling positive emotions
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Difficulty concentrating, feeling restless, or on edge
- Increased worry or feeling stressed
- Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
- Ongoing headaches, digestive issues, or pain
- Misuse of alcohol or drugs
- Sadness or hopelessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts
- Engaging in high-risk activities
- Obsessive thinking or compulsive behavior
- Thoughts or behaviors that interfere with work, family, or social life
- Engaging in thinking or behavior that is concerning to others
- Seeing, hearing, and feeling things that other people do not see, hear, or feel