Mental Health Issues That Can Hit You As You Age


What really makes individuals predisposed to developing mental health issues? Many of the experts in the field suggest that it is the conflict between nurture and nature. According to psychologists, no one knows if genetics plays a significant role in this. Some people might be born inclined to develop schizophrenia, or depression, or anxiety. At times the switch which activates genetics has to do more with the environment a person is in. However, although not everyone that suffers from a difficult childhood or experiences a traumatic event goes on to struggle with emotional health problems, a good set of them will. There are also times when the biochemical makeup of an individual and the stresses of life make them more susceptible. As each individual goes through life, the mental pressures are different at each stage, read on to learn about the conditions that most people are exposed to and the ways that they can be managed.

Anxiety, Specifically Fears In The Preteens

Children have all got to learn the ways in which to pilot through their world. Any difficulty they have doing this could result in them developing anxiety. According to Clinical Psychologist Jeffrey Cohen from Columbia University Medical Center, children may struggle with being separated from a parent, or with shyness or being fear, which could lead the child to avoid all the things that could potentially give them stress, such as dogs or school. Unpredictability amplifies anxiety, however, unswerving support from friends and family, together with daily structure assists in protecting children against this. Also, teaching children how to deal with worry, regardless of the teacher is PBS Kids or the parents, could become a protective factor as well. For instance, if the child is terrified of dogs, they could be slowly exposed to puppies, being able to observe them for a safe distance, allowed to pet a small dog when they are able to, and then gradually work their way up to being introduced to larger dogs.

Anxiety, Specifically Social Anxiety In Teenagers

It is only until around the age of twenty-five is the brain fully developed, in particular the executive function. This makes it more difficult for teenagers to deal with their emotions, anxiety included. Teenagers also display signs of social anxiety, which is a fear of or the evading of social situations, according to Cohen. Children going through their adolescent years believe that they are being watched by everyone, when in fact this is not true. Therefore, there are always teenagers that think they are constantly under the microscope or their every word or action, or fashion is being scrutinized by their peers. Children that have grown up with technology sometimes find it hard to figure out social cues. A good way that this can be counteracted is by reading. Instead of telling, novels have a tendency of showing, providing an excellent way for teenagers to become better at understanding their own feelings and thoughts. As a matter of fact, a study discovered that twelve to fifteen-year-old children that readout of sheer pleasure was much more engaged socially due to the insights developed through their lives and the lives of others.

Anxiety & Bipolar Disorder In Young Adults

According to Dr Cohen, there are some mental health issues, especially, psychotic disorders, which are considered to be a biological or genetic component that could intermingle with a life stressor. The developing brain of an emerging adult could put them even more at risk. Additional behaviors, like using illicit drugs or smoking marijuana, could also trigger psychotic episodes as well. Many times, there is always hope that the psychosis will disappear when the substance abuse ends, however, this is not always what happens. In order to avert the causes, keep away from illicit or illegal drugs, marijuana included, and drinking excessively if you know, through the family history, makes you vulnerable to bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. However, if by chance you have been previously diagnosed, maintaining a healthy lifestyle could lessen the impact of the illness. Which means consuming healthy foods and having an adequate amount of sleep.

Anxiety & Depression In Twenty-Five To Forty Year Old

As individuals approach their thirties, anxiety tends to open the pathway for depression to take the lead. According to Dr. Cohen, anxiety is an anxious future-based state which is categorized by what if, thinking. As younger individuals have a tendency of being quite future-based due to the fact that they view most of their life as being ahead of them. Depression is categorized by contemplative or pensive thinking. This is when individuals are beginning to view things that did not happen in the way they wanted them to. Stressors such as losing a job, for example, could activate depression, so as having a baby, it has been documented that approximately one in every seven mothers and one in every ten fathers suffer from postpartum depression. The United States Preventive Services Task Force has implemented that at-risk females receive interpersonal or cognitive behavioral therapy, whether in group form or individually in order to prevent postpartum depression.

Depression & Suicide In Forties To Fifties

Adults that are between the ages of forty and fifty-nine years old have the greatest rates of depression, specifically females, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The age group has also the most significant rate of suicide and is also the one with the greatest rate of suicide, as documented by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The reason for this is that traumatic events such as divorce or an accident could activate depression. Worrying about ailing parents or adult children is also considered a trigger for depression. For this, there are many protective factors, such as having a strong support system of friends and family. Also, discovering a purpose, which gives serious weight to volunteering.

Depression & Substance Abuse In Sixties

Individuals between sixty and sixty-nine have the greatest chance of experiencing an event that induced depression, such as the passing of a spouse. It could also be affected by these individuals suffering physical illnesses connected to depression, such as heart disease, cancer, or stroke. After retirement, it has been reported that persons in this age range gravitate to the bottle more or to drugs because the demands of work-life are no longer there to limit their bad habits. What is more, is that the body at this age is unable to deal with the same level of consumption it would have in its younger years, so this becomes a serious problem. A strong supportive circle is a factor that would help persons in this age range, also finding a purpose in life and exercising.

Depression & Dementia In Seventies & Onward

Health care providers could miss depression in older adults due to the fact that the symptoms, sleep issues, loss of appetite, and decreased energy could be similar to illnesses and physical issues. As individuals continue to age, their medical problems increase, so too does their social isolation, also during this age, the relationship between depression and dementia strengthens, resulting in other issues in behavior such as anxiety, irritability, and progressive paranoia. The medical fraternity explains that it is true that elderly individuals that suffer from depression appear more probable to go on to develop dementia than those who do not. However, they are not sure if it is a case where they develop dementia due to being depressed or whether they become depressed because they are developing dementia. Medication and cognitive behavioral therapy could work for depression, as it relates to dementia, the lifestyle and managing cholesterol and blood pressure are key.


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