The Difference Between Mental Illness and Aging

It’s important to be aware of differences between age and elderly mental illness. It’s possible that some symptoms of mental illness and aging can overlap. Seniors are at high risk for severe anxiety and depression, so it is crucial to detect symptoms early. All age groups face challenges speaking with their primary care physicians about their mental health concerns. After all, mental health is a very personal and private matter. Many seniors fear their doctor will simply dismiss their symptoms as a normal part of the aging process.

Early detection of mental health issues is vital to receiving proper care and treatment. Unfortunately, mental illness and regular aging can sometimes be difficult to distinguish. Forgetfulness, for example, is common with aging. But, continuous memory loss that interferes with regular tasks is a concern.

Important symptoms of mental illness in seniors may include:

  • Changes in a regular care routine, like lack of concern for appearance
  • Signs of severe memory loss, like repeatedly asking the same questions
  • Significant mood changes, like exhibiting more worry or confusion than before
  • Lack of social desire
  • Severe weight gain or loss
  • Changes in sleep patterns, lack of energy, or extreme fatigue

If you care for a senior and notice any of the above symptoms, it’s time to talk to the doctor.

Austin Lakes Hospital offers mental health help to adults 18 & up. Mental health treatment is offered at our Austin, TX location (inpatient & outpatient).  For more information, please call (512) 544-8602.

Submitted By: Austin Lakes Hospital

Phone Number: (512) 544-8602