Home Health 5 Most Effective Ways of Preventing Mental Illnesses in Seniors

5 Most Effective Ways of Preventing Mental Illnesses in Seniors

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As we all know that as we grow old, usually our mental power decreases. Also, older people are likely to experience illnesses such as depression and dementia during their old age.

Usually, these mental problems occur due to the insufficient production of hormones such as HGH (human growth hormone). HGH is a hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain.

It helps to keep our body looking youthful and healthy as it goes through its usual aging process. However, as we get older, our pituitary glands stop producing this hormone altogether or produce less than required so that our body ages.

How does our brain work?

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The brain is the most crucial organ in our body. It is responsible for processing all the information that enters the brain through various senses every day, and it directs all of our movements, thoughts, memories, and emotions.

The cerebrum controls everything about us! However, as we age, things start to change. Our brain cells are the neurons that provide the memory of every event that happens in our life. However, as we age, they lose their ability to multiply and regenerate.

What happens to our brain cells when we get older?

As we continue to grow old, the brain cells stop working correctly. They start to shrink, leading to problems such as memory loss. The brain cells begin to shrink due to the damage caused by free radicals.

Free radicals are atoms that have lost their electrons and wander around in our bodies, looking for new ones. While they are doing this, they damage many different parts of our organs! These things happen slowly over time.

How do mental illnesses occur?

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The damage caused by free radicals can lead to mental illness! These mental ills usually develop throughout our lives. As we age, the problems start to appear gradually because of the lack of hormones in specific parts of our brain!

These areas are responsible for producing memory, mood, and personality. However, as they stop working at their optimum level, there is a significant impact on our mental health.

What causes mental illness in seniors?

As we get older, many changes in our brain start to affect how it functions. Imbalances usually create mental illnesses in hormones responsible for the function of certain parts of our brain.

Most common mental illnesses in aging people and prevention for them:

1. Depression

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It is the most common type of mental illness among the elderly population. This can be due to a variety of reasons. Mood swings are the most common type of depression that occurs in seniors.

It is caused due to many changes in our grey matter or hippocampus! These parts of our brain help us control our emotions and regulate the hormones which influence how we feel about things. As these parts shrink, mood swings can develop.

Depression in seniors can be treated through medication or alternative methods. The treatment usually includes the use of mood-stabilizing drugs, talking therapy, or antidepressants.

2. Parkinson’s disease

Source: health.com

This is a chronic disorder that affects the way our brain cells work! It usually occurs due to the damage caused by free radicals or reduced levels of dopamine and serotonin. However, this happens gradually over time, so most people developing the disorder have no idea about it!

Randomized clinical trials found evidence that some forms of HRT are neuroprotective, resulting in improved Parkinson’s symptoms. Other possible ways of prevention include anti-inflammatory drugs, HGH injections, and antidepressants.

3. Schizophrenia

Source: seniorcarepsychological.com

It is a mental illness caused by abnormalities in the way our brain cells develop! This usually happens because of differences between the two types of cells in our brains. These cells are called GABA and Glutamate! As we grow up, these cells interact with each other and create a communication cycle between them.

However, as we age and the brain starts to shrink, this process changes! The neurons or brain cells begin to create new connections with each other. This is why some people develop schizophrenia as they get older!

One of the most effective ways of preventing this disorder includes HGH injections! However, they must be used under constant supervision by a doctor because many side effects are associated with their use.

4. Alzheimer’s disease

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It is a long-term mental health issue that starts with mild confusion and memory problems, among other things. As time passes, people with this condition become more disoriented, and it becomes difficult for them to function normally.

Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the deterioration of different parts of our brain, which are responsible for memory! Regular physical exercise may be a beneficial strategy to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Exercise may directly benefit brain cells by increasing blood and oxygen flow in the brain. Maintaining strong social connections and keeping mentally active as we age might lower the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s.

5. Dementia

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It is an umbrella term that includes many different types of mental illness. Memory loss is the primary symptom of this condition which affects the brain cells! This gradually worsens over time and prevents people from functioning normally. Dementia usually occurs in older people due to free radicals, lack of hormones, or head injuries.

The treatment usually includes:

Eating a healthy, balanced diet.
• Maintaining a healthy weight.
• Exercising regularly.
• Keeping alcohol within recommended limits.
Stopping smoking.
• Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

To reduce the risk of mental illness, aging people should remain physically active and keep their minds engaged! This can help prevent these diseases from developing. They should also look after their overall health to improve their chances of recovering from a mental disorder. If they have a family history of a particular disease, they can be tested for it!

Resources: 

  1. https://hghtherapydoc.com/how-hormone-replacement-hrt-can-be-used-to-treat-parkinsons-disease/
  2. https://www.brainfacts.org/thinking-sensing-and-behaving/aging/2019/how-the-brain-changes-with-age-083019