Each age group like children , adolescents,adult,middle age and old age has specific psychological problems , which have to be dealt with effectively to maintain our health and efficiency. The specific psychological problems, which after the age of 50 years are as follows;
(1)Depression (2) Adjustment disorders including anxiety and somatoform disorders (3) dementia
1.Depression: it is the most common mental disorder seen in this age group. It is estimated that 15 to 20% of people may suffer and at the age of 75 and above ,50% of people may suffer from this order.common symptoms of depression are as follows;
1. medically unexplained bodily symptoms like headache, backache,pain in any part of the body, fatigue , weakness , giddiness,numbness etc. all the investigations done reveal no physical abnormality . no defect or damage see in the body parts.
2. Sleep disturbances : difficulty to fall asleep,getting up early in the morning , disturbed sleep with more recall of bad dreams.
3. poor apetite , not able to enjoy the food,indigestion , constipation.
4. decreased sexual desire,inability to do and enjoy the sexual act.
5. most part of the day, the person feels bored, sad , gloomy, may move into tears very easily.
6. inability to enjoy the activities which were enjoyable earlier.
7. ideas of hopelessness,helplessness and worthlessness all the time.onemay get negative thoughts.
8. ideas of guild and sin. One may recall past mistakes and repent.
9. poor concentration and memory.difficulty to learn new things.
10. death wish,suicidal ideas and even attempts.
11. restlessness , suspicion and illusions.
It is learnt that depression disorder is due to low dopamine and serotonine(these are neurotransmitters) levels in the brain cells. genetic factors certain medical conditions like hypothyroidism,psychosocial stress factors drive the person to develop depression.Treatment : antidepressant drugs like imipramine,fluoxetine,citalopam etc. ,councelling , emotional support from family members , healthy relaxation and recreational activities will control depression.
2. adjustment disorders : the changes in the family,loss by death or separation ,financial condition,job(retirement) and living conditions and life style may lead to adjustment disorders in the persons. The person may perceive these changes in a negative manner and as a threat to his status, well being and safety. Hemay not be able to make the required modifications and changes in his thinking , actions and reactions and its style. He may suffer from following symptoms :
i) fear and anxiety: increased heartbeats, hurried respirations , seating tremors of the hands or whole body,increased frequency of passing urine. Feelings of apprehension and anticipation of bad feeling to happen.
ii) fatigue, weakness, aches and paines, giddiness, numbness etc. in any part of the body.
iii) emotional reactions of sadness,, anger, frustratrions.
iv) sleep and appetite, sexual disturbances.
v) poor concentration,memory,inability to think , analyses and take decisionsvi) misintrepet the responses from others and environmental changesvii) severe pre-occupation with ill health and diseases.may believe that he/she is having serious disease like heart attack , cancer
treatment : anxiolytics ( like Lorazepam, clonazepam,propranolol) antidepressant drugs,councelling,relaxation , support from family, friends or voluntary organizations.
3) dementia : as part of ageing or irreversible damage to the brain cells the person may develop the following symptoms.
i) progressive decline in memory and intellectual functions of the individual.
ii) inability to recall the names of known people , losing ones way in the known sorroundings.
iii) changes in the personality for example- a person who was very strict with money,becoming a spend thrift, a person who was very calm and serene becoming very irritable and aggressive.
iv) taking decisions without bothering about the consequences.
v) not able to take care of his needs and receiving help and guidance in day-to-day activities. At the end , becomes totally dependent on others.vi)develops neurological deficits like fits, paralysis,tremors,in-coordinated movements of the body andlimbs.
1. Decreased blood supply to the brain
2. Repeated bleeding inside the brain in cases of untreated or badly controlled diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure.
3. Repeated lowering of blood sugar level(below 60 mg/ 100ml) in diabetic mellitus.
4. Tumors in the brain