Ashok Bharucha is a dementia specialist and specializes in late-life mental disorders. People are often embarrassed or ashamed to talk about their own personal mental disorders and those that their loved ones may be suffering from. As such, not many people are as aware of late-life mental disorders as they should be. Common late-life mental disorders may include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and a range of cognitive impairment disorders. Here are a few of the common signs of potential late-life mental disorders.
Ashok Bharucha says that one of the signs of late-life mental disorders can be sudden memory loss. In people over the age of 55, sudden memory loss should be a red flag that something may be going on. In most cases, memory loss starts out with minor changes but progresses over time. A senior may appear to be struggling to remember names or may frequently forget to take medication. If you notice sudden memory loss in a loved one, you should be concerned about potential cognitive impairment disorders. While you cannot prevent all types of memory loss, getting help for memory issues early on can be beneficial.
Ashok Bharucha explains that mild personality changes should be a red flag to family members about potential late-life mental disorders. Mood disorders and anxiety disorders can often manifest themselves as mild personality changes. An elderly person may seem a bit more grumpy than normal or they may snap at their loved ones faster. Most people are familiar with their loved one’s moods and what may or may not alter those moods. If you notice changes that seem off, those changes should not be dismissed as being solely age-related. You should think about potential mental health issues.
Ashok Bharucha states that a major sign of late-life mental disorders is becoming socially withdrawn. If your loved one never wants to go out to eat, does not want to attend family events, or does not want to go to any other social events they normally participate in, you should start to question why. Your loved one may be affected by late-life depression or anxiety disorders. As the elderly age, they start to feel helpless and they may begin to see their life dwindling. This can trigger many feelings that can lead to disorders or can affect mental health without being classified as a disorder.
If you or a loved one are exhibiting one or more of the symptoms listed above, you may be suffering from a late-life mental disorder. These disorders are not uncommon and they are absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, many are caused by conditions that are outside of anyone’s control. If you suspect you or a loved one has a late-life mental disorder, reach out to a professional, such as Ashok Bharucha for diagnosis and treatment.