People after 50 can sometimes be shocked by mental health problems starting to arise, that they weren't aware of before. The problem with mental health for people over 50 and the elderly is that it is hard to diagnose and so it's sometimes not noticed or recognized, despite it being extremely important and crucial.
What mental health issues are common after 50 and for the elderly:
Dementia is unfortunately very common with elderly seniors. Their memory, concentration and behaviors are strongly affected and they start deteriorating. This prevents them from being able to go about their day to day actvities. It shouldn't be normal for seniors but the lack of a healthy lifestyle and taking care of their mental health can cause that to happen. You can prevent it by keeping your mind active and challenging it. Along with, of course, eating healthy and exercising. There are also doctors that can help patients with dementia to reduce things from deteriorating.
It can be hard to identify anxiety at this age, because most people think it has to do with their physical health. And even if they get diagnosed for anxiety, they might not take it as seriously as physical health problems, despite it being just as important, if not more, because it can affect their physical health, immunity and future mental health further. Anxiety can cause more difficult mental illnesses in the future like panic disorder and problems sleeping.
People at this age with anxiety tend to also experience depression. You can help treat your anxiety by visiting a therapist in order to understand its cause and if there's anything triggering it. It's never too late to heal and work on your mental health. You can also perform self care practices like mediation, yoga and exercise to help relieve your body and mind from the affects of anxiety.
Bipolar disorder is also common and it is very serious. At this age it comes with symptoms like irritability, agitation, memory and concentration problems, being overly hyper active and even psychosis. It can also affect their judgment and perception.
Bipolar disorder needs to be diagnosed by a professional so it can be treated with care and attention. Treatment can be difficult because medications can be tricky at this age, however, even just talking to a therapist is really important and essential with this problem.
Depression is common amongst all ages. With people over 50, depression can be triggered, as do most of these mental health problems, by things like illness, chronic pain, chronic illnesses, physical problems, loneliness and retirement. Of course depression can also be caused by nothing at all, but there's also grief, which is common because of losing loved one at this age. It can also be triggered by the realization that they're aging, which can be hard and difficult to come to terms with.
Depression should be taken really seriously because it can deteriorate and even affect physical health and immunity. You don't have to resort to medication if you don't want to, there are many other lifestyle habits that can help with depression like exercise and meditation. But, you should really see a therapist and prioritize your happiness.
Final Note: After 50, you should really prioritize your mental health and well being, if you haven't been doing that already. Don't give into age and consider this to be 'just the way things are'. You can turn your life around at any age and your mental health is just as important now as it would have been 10 years ago. It is really important that you keep your mind and body active. Eat well, sleep well, work out and ask others for help if you're worried or unsure what to do.