Senior citizens feel different kinds of cognitive issues to suffer on a daily basis. It could be anything from Delirium to Dementia to Depression. Good mental health is very important to enjoy later years of life.
Let’s understand Delirium, Dementia and Depression ( 3D's ) in an elaborated way. These three mental health difficulties are geriatric psychiatry related issues. For better understanding, we will discuss each disorder one by one:
It is a cognitive disorder. Person suffering from delirium experiences serious changes in mental abilities including confused thinking and a lack of awareness about surroundings. It is a temporary and curable disorder.
Some of the Symptoms of Delirium are:
- Fluctuating thoughts
- Memory problems
- Difficulties in movement & coordination
- Poor concentration
- Speaking incoherently
Causes of Delirium
Delirium basically occurs among people over 65 years of age who are hospitalized for other conditions including dehydration, electrolyte imbalances and others.
Person suffering from dementia shows multiple cognitive symptoms including memory loss, difficulty thinking, poor focus, inability to regulate emotions and others. Dementia lasts longer in comparison with delirium. So, you need to be more careful towards this disorder. It is also important to know that symptoms of both disorders are almost identical. Therefore, you carefully need to evaluate to identify the intensity of the problem upon exact terms.
List of symptoms for Dementia includes:
- Persistent confusion
- Difficult to understand others
- Problems to read/write
- Incapable to speak clearly
- Loss of interest
- Poor judgment
Experts have categorized the symptoms of dementia in 3 different stages including early-stage, middle-stage and late-stage. These symptoms are progressive in nature and become worse with the course of time.
Causes of Dementia
People start suffering with dementia when brain cells, which control thinking and memory, are damaged. It is however still not known why these cells damage themselves. A majority of experts agree it might be due to genetics or family history.
Depression is related to delirium and dementia with higher rates. It proves difficult to diagnose in older patients because symptoms they show are less typical and are often mild. Denial of older patients regarding feelings of depression/anxiety also causes problems for mental care specialists to properly evaluate the disorder. Older patients usually deny to suffer with any such problem when asked directly.
Some Common Symptoms of Geriatric Depression are:
- Sadness, irritability, fatigue
- Frequent crying
- Feeling uncomfortable and restlessness
- Poor concentration
- Sleeping issues
- Suicidal thoughts
- Muscle & joint pains
Causes of Depression
Experts are still making efforts to identify the causes of depression. Some research indicates that genetics might be the possible reason in most of the cases. Society, psychological factors and surroundings can also trigger the issues among old-age people.
Researchers have also found that the following conditions also play a key role in causing depression:
- Reduced neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain (serotonin/norepinephrine)
- Family history of depression
- Traumatic events
- Complications associated with aging that include limited mobility, isolation, facing mortality, etc.
Don't ignore issues with memory or thinking skills. A treatable condition can be identified by visiting a doctor as soon as symptoms appear, and early diagnosis enables you or a loved one to benefit the most from available treatment options. For each of these conditions, quick screening tools are available at Solh Wellness to aid in identification and management.