Most older adults report good mental health and have fewer mental health problems than other age groups. However, one in four older adults experiences a mental health problem such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or dementia. The suicide rate for men over 85 is higher than that of any other age group.
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Mental health problems are common among seniors and may include isolation, affective and anxiety disorders, dementia, and psychosis, among others. Many seniors also suffer from sleep and behavioral disorders, cognitive deterioration or confusion states as a result of physical disorders or surgical interventions.
Your loved one’s mood changes could be caused by them reacting out of pain or exasperation to a medical condition that you may not even be able to see. In other cases, severe mood swings in seniors could be due to personal frustration with their changing bodies and lifestyles.
Sudden personality changes in the elderly can be caused by a variety of factors such as: Dementia. Stroke. Grief due to the loss of a loved one or freedom.
Mood disorders represent the most common source of psychiatric morbidity in older adults, including unipolar (depressive disorder) and bipolar (manic-depressive) subtypes, with varying degrees of severity (Table 1). Unipolar depression occurs in 10%–38% of the elderly population.
Causes of Depression and Irritability Depression and irritability can be caused by normal aging. Perhaps your loved one recently lost a close friend. Or maybe they are struggling to accept that the physical signs of aging are making it harder to participate in activities they used to love.
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A sudden, undesired or uncontrollable change in your personality may be the sign of a serious condition. Several mental illnesses can lead to personality changes. These include anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, dementia, and schizophrenia.
And much of what they feel could be negative if they are bored or no longer have a strong sense of purpose. These emotions are often compounded when they are accompanied by limited mobility, reduced energy and other age-related changes that affect their independence, daily routines and functioning.
These changes in personality and behavior can be caused by physical or mental health problems. People may have more than one type of change. For example, people with confusion due to a drug interaction sometimes have hallucinations, and people with mood extremes may have delusions.