Write an essay on the topic on Health and Medicine in Aging and Mental Health.
Who does it impact?
It is evident that in today’s society, mental health issues in older population is increasing day by day. In human life cycle, aging process can be frustrating for many reasons. Mental health is a level of psychological wellbeing or an absence of mental illness where psychological stare functions at a satisfactory level of emotion, behavior and adjustment (Wyatt & Oswalt, 2013). Aging is a time for adaptation and change and it is hard to maintain all balance in great quality. Due to age factor adult people typically are not mentally, physically strong and independent as they used to be before. Aging people are more vulnerable and downcast to illness and diseases. There are several internal and external factors that also play a major role in aging people. In the words of Bengtson (2018) the main factors are income, illness, relationship with family, loss of dearest and nearest persons in life, company, care, housing, transportation and mobility etc.
As people age they face many problems and challenges as well as different level of stress. In this century, on one hand, all over the world people are living longer and longer due to quality of life and on the other hand with increasing age, far too many people fall victim to mental health problems which is very common but painful. With the aging process people mobility may slow down and sight slowly diminish and these changes can directly affect their mental health. There are types of forms of mental illnesses and diseases. One of them is depression which relates our feelings of happiness (Lamar et al., 2013). It prevents from enjoying life and take a toll on physical health as well. Dementia, anxiety and other mental health concerns are also common. The basis of mental health problems for aging people often shows from frustration, loneliness, inability to preform daily activities, despair, being negligence from family member or community.
Everyday everywhere many adult people are facing mental health problems which can’t be avoided. Mental health problems and illnesses among adults are likely to affect every family not in only Canada but all around the world in some way (Pearson, Janz & Ali, 2013). Some of the most common mental health disorders are anxiety and panic disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia. The disruption in behavioural patterns that are caused due to mental health problems are often responsible for bringing about a significant impairment and distress in the personal functioning of the individual.
What are the impacts?
According to Steptoe, Deaton and Stone (2015) the probable course and consequence of mental disorders differs and is dependent on plentiful factors connected to the disorder, the person as a whole, and the environment, and the society. Several studies conducted on schizophrenia have reported that more than half of persons usually recover from their symptoms. According to Slade et al. (2014) while some people suffering from mental health problems report serious difficulties, "late" recovery is still reasonable. Owing to the fact that psychological disorders are found to create a negative impact on the family members and the communities of the mentally hostile, besides the sufferers, there is a need to develop a sound understanding the consequences of mental disease on discrete patients and the existing social systems. This will facilitate bringing about an improvement in the mental healthcare system and will also aid the development of operative healthcare delivery programs (Clement et al., 2015). Individuals suffering from aging and mental disorders are at larger risks for reduced quality of life, poverty, dropped productivity, social difficulties, susceptibility to abuse, and further health problems (Fredriksen-Goldsen et al., 2014). There is mounting evidence for the fact that people with mental health and aging problems often fail to seek adequate employment opportunities. Education also gets affected by poor mental health where the persons having psychological disorder show reduced likelihood of completing high school, college, or obtaining educational degrees (WHO, 2014).
Research evidences have also elaborated on the fact that aged people and females are more allied with more optimistic help seeking outlooks. Thus, gender and age are found to play an influence on the intent to seek professional mental help. Women are found to exhibit increased favourable intentions for obtaining assistance from mental health professionals, when compared to men. This can be accredited to their positive attitudes that concern psychological openness (Mackenzie et al., 2006). Thus, negative attitudes that are associated with psychological openness directly contribute the underutilization of services by males. Results from another systematic review were also able to establish a direct correlation between physical illness, functional disability, and suicidal ideations among older adults (Fässberg et al., 2016). This can be accounted for the fact that the conditions are quite common in late life and are responsible for a loss of autonomy, pain, isolation, depression, and upsurge in burden on the social networks (Ahmedani et al., 2014). Furthermore, Innamorati et al. (2014) also stated that older adults who commit suicide often seek consultation from their physicians, within few weeks of death, where they principally discuss about their physical ailments and keep the suicidal feelings and mental distress unaddressed.
Why does the problem exist?
There are several community mental health programs in Toronto Central that deliver services to assist people suffering from mental health issues, while residing in the community. Some of the common facilities that are offered by these programs include advocacy, information and referral, case management, rehabilitation, housing advocacy, counselling, employment assistance, support groups, recreational and social opportunities, and peer support for the survivors and the consumers. Few names of the services are Across Boundaries, Anishnawbe Health Toronto- Aboriginal Mental Health and Addiction Services, Baycrest Geriatric Mental Health Community Support Services, and Cota - Geriatric Mental Health Case Management Program (Torontocentralhealthline.ca, 2018).
The issue related to mental health and aging has helped me gain a sound understanding of the different complexities that are associated with the condition and further facilitated identification of the severe impacts that they create on the quality of life. From my personal experiences I could agree with the findings presented above that mental illness and aging often make the affected person functionally disable. Furthermore, I have also found the society demonstrating stereotyping attitudes towards such people, one of whom was a close kin of mine. These kind of stigmatising behaviour manifested by the larger society and the community directly lowers the self-esteem and confidence of the people, and deteriorates their quality of life. However, I differ from the facts that are presented regarding help seeking behaviour. Prevalence of mass media campaigns, mental health and aging awareness, and works by different non-profit organisation have made it easier for all people to share their concerns with the healthcare professionals, regardless of their age and/or gender. Thus, I feel that adequate efforts are being taken by the government to promote mental health and healthy aging in the population.
Ahmedani, B. K., Simon, G. E., Stewart, C., Beck, A., Waitzfelder, B. E., Rossom, R., ... & Operskalski, B. H. (2014). Health care contacts in the year before suicide death. Journal of general internfal medicine, 29(6), 870-877.
Bengtson, V. (2018). Global aging and challenges to families. Routledge.
Clement, S., Schauman, O., Graham, T., Maggioni, F., Evans-Lacko, S., Bezborodovs, N., ... & Thornicroft, G. (2015). What is the impact of mental health-related stigma on help-seeking? A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies. Psychological medicine, 45(1), 11-27.
Fässberg, M. M., Cheung, G., Canetto, S. S., Erlangsen, A., Lapierre, S., Lindner, R., ... & Duberstein, P. (2016). A systematic review of physical illness, functional disability, and suicidal behaviour among older adults. Aging & mental health, 20(2), 166-194.
Fredriksen-Goldsen, K. I., Kim, H. J., Shiu, C., Goldsen, J., & Emlet, C. A. (2014). Successful aging among LGBT older adults: Physical and mental health-related quality of life by age group. The Gerontologist, 55(1), 154-168.
Innamorati, M., Pompili, M., Di Vittorio, C., Baratta, S., Masotti, V., Badaracco, A., ... & Amore, M. (2014). Suicide in the old elderly: results from one Italian county. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 22(11), 1158-1167.
Lamar, M., Charlton, R. A., Ajilore, O., Zhang, A., Yang, S., Barrick, T. R., ... & Kumar, A. (2013). Prefrontal vulnerabilities and whole brain connectivity in aging and depression. Neuropsychologia, 51(8), 1463-1470.
Mackenzie, C. S., Gekoski, W. L., & Knox, V. J. (2006). Age, gender, and the underutilization of mental health services: the influence of help-seeking attitudes. Aging and mental health, 10(6), 574-582.
Pearson, C., Janz, T., & Ali, J. (2013). Mental and substance use disorders in Canada. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
Slade, M., Amering, M., Farkas, M., Hamilton, B., O'Hagan, M., Panther, G., ... & Whitley, R. (2014). Uses and abuses of recovery: implementing recovery?oriented practices in mental health systems. World Psychiatry, 13(1), 12-20.
Steptoe, A., Deaton, A., & Stone, A. A. (2015). Subjective wellbeing, health, and ageing. The Lancet, 385(9968), 640-648.
Torontocentralhealthline.ca. (2018). Community Mental Health Programs - Toronto Central. Retrieved from https://www.torontocentralhealthline.ca/listServices.aspx?id=10237.
World Health Organization. (2014). Social determinants of mental health. World Health Organization.
Wyatt, T., & Oswalt, S. B. (2013). Comparing mental health issues among undergraduate and graduate students. American journal of health education, 44(2), 96-107.
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