Every child knows that professional medical treatment should be sought after a physical problem or injury begins to impact your life. Yet millions of Americans would never seek treatment for mental health problems. In fact, up to 80% of Americans who are currently suffering from clinical depression aren’t receiving treatment. Sadly, seniors are especially unlikely to seek treatment for mental health disorders; moreover, many older Americans will go their entire lives without ever receiving a life saving diagnosis.
The need for neuropsychiatric programs and treatment services continues to grow as the American population ages. The following are some of the most crucial mental health concerns impacting older generation Americans.
Depression and suicide concerns
There are multiple types of depression including major, postpartum, psychotic, manic, atypical, and persistent. Each has its own symptoms, but many share the signs of fatigue, loss of appetite, intense feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest, and thoughts of suicide.
Signs of depression in older Americans are often overlooked by loved ones or medical professionals. This is often because symptoms of depression often coincide with medical illness experienced in old age.
For this reason, elderly Americans have the highest suicide rate in the country despite making up only 13% of the population.What’s more is that up to 37% of elderly Americans living in nursing homes are currently suffering from depression.
Depression can lead to health concerns when left untreated, especially among the elderly population. Possible consequences of untreated depression include immune and cardiac problems, chronic pain, and susceptibility to infection.
Substance abuse concerns
When depression goes untreated, many Americans turn to substances such as alcohol or drugs. According to the American Psychiatric Association, one out of every eight elderly Americans has died due to alcohol abuse.
Alcohol abuse can lead to cognitive dysfunctions, cirrhosis of the liver, malnutrition, and osteomalacia. Unfortunately, up to 40% of those at risk for developing substance abuse fail to seek treatment for their mental and behavioral conditions.
Seeking neurobehavioral care
Neuropsychiatric geriatric care is one of the best forms of treatment available to older Americans suffering from depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Through family therapy, group therapy, and individual therapy, elderly patients can feel confident in the treatment they receive through their neuropsychiatric programs.
For more information on neuropsychiatric programs for elderly persons with Alzheimers disease, major depression, PTSD, or other neuropsychiatric disorders, contact NeuroPsychiatric Hospitals today. Compassionate and professional medical treatment is available to you.