Mental health issues can affect people of any age and, in recent years, we have become more aware of the growing mental health crisis in young people. However, there are a lot of older people that are struggling with their mental health too. In fact, there are several specific challenges that make it harder to deal with your mental health as you get older. Here’s why managing your mental health gets harder as you age.
The older you get, the more responsibilities you have. You might have children or grandchildren that rely on you for support or a spouse who needs your help to run the household. In addition to work and home life, many older people also need to juggle professional demands as well as medical appointments and bills. Stress is one of the most common triggers for mental health problems, so as your life gets more stressful, it’s only natural that you are more likely to struggle with your mental health. Finding ways to create a better work-life balance and reduce your stress is more important than ever as you get older.
Changes To Hormones
A lot of the processes in your body start to change as you get older. You might notice that your skin is much drier than it used to be or that you are much more tired than you used to be. One important thing to note about aging is that hormones also change, which can lead to mood changes and depression. Some research indicates that this may be one reason why mental health issues tend to become more common for women after menopause. This can impact men as their testosterone levels drop too. Often, testosterone replacement therapy can help to deal with hormone imbalances and make it easier to manage mental health. If you are concerned about hormone imbalances, you should speak to your doctor to see whether there is anything they can do to help.
Less Time For Self-Care
Anybody with a busy work and family life will tell you that self-care is the first thing that goes out of the window. However, if you are struggling with your mental health it’s important to make sure that you are looking after yourself. Not only does regular exercise have its own mental health benefits, but it actually helps you manage your stress levels too. Other kinds of self-care, such as relaxation techniques and spending time doing the things you enjoy will also help to lift your mood so it’s important to be proactive about mental health and find time for self-care. Unfortunately, a lot of people struggle to find the time to fit self-care into their routine as they age.
In general, older people tend to feel more uncomfortable about speaking about their mental health. This is because there are so many stigmas attached to mental health issues. There is still a lot of stigmas attached to certain mental health problems and even though the younger generation is becoming more open about it, many older people still won’t admit that they are struggling, which only makes things worse.
As you are getting older, it’s vital that you overcome these age-specific challenges so you can protect your mental health.