Mental illness is real, common and can happen to anyone at any age. Loneliness, isolation, fear of illness or injury and being treated differently because of your age can often cause or worsen mental health issues for older adults.
Many don’t seek treatment because they believe their symptoms are a result of aging, they are afraid a diagnosis could have a widespread impact on how they are treated by friends and family, or that they won’t be able to live independently if they receive care for a mental health condition.
But having a mental illness doesn’t need to stop anyone from living a good life or maintaining independence. With proper support and treatment, it’s possible to improve quality of life at any age and even strengthen relationships. At any stage in life, you and your loved ones deserve the benefits that mental health treatment can provide.
Characterized by excessive fear or anxiety that is difficult to control and negatively and substantially impacts daily functioning.Learn More
Defined by a persistent pattern of inattention (for example, difficulty keeping focus) and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity (for example, difficulty controlling behavior, excessive and inappropriate motor activity).Learn More
Characterized by atypical, dramatic swings in mood, and activity levels that go from periods of feeling intensely happy, irritable, and impulsive to periods of intense sadness and feelings of hopelessness.Learn More
Characterized by difficulties regulating emotion. People living with BPD feel emotions intensely and for extended periods of time, and it is harder for them to return to a stable baseline after an emotionally triggering event.Learn More
Depression can present different symptoms depending on the person, but is often characterized by physical and mental changes that significantly interfere with daily life. Common symptoms include: hopelessness or guilty thoughts, loss of energy, changes in sleep, changes in appetite, lack of interest in activities and physical aches and pains.Learn More
Characterized by an involuntary escape from reality characterized by a disconnection between thoughts, identity, consciousness and memory.Learn More
Describes illnesses that are characterized by irregular eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape.Learn More
Defined by the presence of persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are intrusive and unwanted (obsessions), or repetitive and ritualistic behaviors that a person feels are necessary in order to control obsessions (compulsions).Learn More
Characterized as the development of debilitating symptoms following exposure to a traumatic or dangerous event. These can include re-experiencing symptoms from an event, such as flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance symptoms, changing a personal routine to escape having to be reminded of an event, or being easily startled/tense that makes daily tasks nearly impossible to complete.Learn More
Characterized as disruptions to a person’s thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to recognize what is real and what isn’t. These disruptions are often experienced as seeing, hearing and believing things that aren’t real or having strange, persistent thoughts, behaviors and emotions.Learn More
Characterized by persistent symptoms of psychosis resembling schizophrenia with additional periodic symptoms of mood disorders, such as mania and depression.Learn More
A brain disorder that impacts the way a person thinks (often described as a “thought disorder”), feels and acts. It is characterized by a range of mental, behavioral, and emotional experiences that can include: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking and grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behavior.Learn More
Don’t assume that mental health symptoms are due to age. Learn some of the signs of mental health problems so that you can ask your doctor, caregiver or family member the right questions.
Hey, it seems like you’ve got a lot on your mind lately. How are you?
I just wanted to say that I am here if you want to talk about anything – Can we get together this week?
I noticed you have missed a few days of school, and I just wanted to check in with you and see how you are doing.
I haven’t seen you in a while! How have you been?
I know life can feel like a lot sometimes, but if you need someone to talk to, I want you to know I am here.
You’ve seemed a little down lately and I wanted to see how you are doing.
I just want you to know I am here for you if you ever need to talk. You’re my friend and I won’t judge you.
I know things have been hard lately; let me know if you want to talk about it. I’m here for you.