As people age, they suffer from many problems that are both psychological and psychiatric and can be treated with psychological therapies according to the DSM (diagnostic and statistical manual of psychological disorders). Below are five major problems that are faced by elderly people.
Depression is a very general psychological problem and people of all walks and age of life suffer from it. The effects and symptoms of depression may vary from person to person and can affect areas of life such as work, sleep, appetite, general health and well being.
Symptoms of depression:
- Feeling sad or struck by despair
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Loss of self-value and self-worth
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble with sleeping
- Suicidal thoughts
- Getting indulged in drugs and alcohol.
Depressed seniors do not necessarily feel sad, but they might complain about low motivation and a lack of energy. Certain medical conditions can cause depression and anxiety as well. Certain medications can cause depression as a side effect such as Blood Pressure Medication. Depression can also exist side-by-side with dementia.
Memory Problems or Amnesia:
As the name of this disease is indicative of its circumstances, a person suffering from memory amnesia lost parts or all of his memory. It’s not your plain everyday forgetfulness, instead complete eradication of any or all events and relations.
Symptoms of Memory Amnesia:
- Some of the major symptoms of amnesia are:
- Memory loss
- Inability to recognize places and faces
Types of Memory Amnesia:
Amnesia can be of two major types, explained below
- Anterograde amnesia
- Retrograde amnesia
In anterograde amnesia, the ability to memorize new things is disabled/lost because the transference of data from short-term memory to long-term memory is not successful.
Causes of Memory Amnesia:
Amnesia can be caused due to a number of reasons, such as organic and neurological reason, such as a brain damage caused by some physical injury to the head. Or it can be caused functional or psychogenic which include psychological factors such as PTSD.
Dementia is probably the most common disease of numerous types. It should be considered the mother of all diseases. People suffering from dementia generally lose mental ability to function normally in their daily life.
Symptoms of dementia:
Below are described some of the symptoms of dementia, for a detailed version read this:
- It includes short-term memory changes.
- Changes in mood
- A failing sense of direction
Causes of dementia:
Dementia can have a wide range of causes, but mainly it’s caused by the death of brain cells. Some of these causes are explained here:
- It can be caused by some kind of tumor
- Vitamin deficiency and/or lack of oxygen
Types of Dementia:
Some types of dementia are explained below:
- Vascular dementia
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies
- Mixed Dementia
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Frontotemporal Dementia
- Huntington’s Disease
There are many sleep-related disorders to which the elderly more prone than the younger adults. The major three are insomnia, sleep apnea etc.
Insomnia is very common in the senior members of our society. Some symptoms of Insomnia include taking more than 45 minutes to fall asleep, trouble in staying asleep, waking up early and night falls. The primary cause of insomnia is stress and anxiety, in the elderly, it is mostly caused by either that or irregular use of stimulants such as nicotine. It can also be caused due to polypharmacy, i.e. the increased use of medications.
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder which is primarily inclusive of irregular breathing due to an obstruction of the upper airway. The main causes are increased weight, age, enlarged tonsils and too much smoking etc.
Alzheimer’s disease is a kind of dementia in which patients get stuck to a particular memory and they believe to be a part of it.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease:
A person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease tends to lose his ability to rationalize events and happening, forgets his own relations and the ability to communicate is fairly affected.
Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease:
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease. And it involves shrinking of brain tissues. Mostly Alzheimer’s is caused due to genetic mutation passed on to children from their parents. It can be treated by psychological therapies and symptoms can be fairly reduced.