Good Mental HealthGood mental health means that we have a positive outlook on life. Healthy brain functioning is appropriate to our age and the circumstances we face. Crankiness, sadness or anxiety occurs occasionally with everyone, but they should not be permanent states, no matter what our age. Here are some interesting myths and facts on aging.
MYTH: Older people are unhappy, intolerant, and mean.
FACT: Except for changes that occur due to dementia or Alzheimer's disease, personalities usually remain stable with aging. A young adult with a mean disposition might become a mean older adult. Noticeable behavioral changes might indicate symptoms associated with a treatable mental health problem.
MYTH: Old people are sick and disabled.
FACT: Illnesses occur in older persons just as in younger persons. More than 85% of older adults are healthy enough to engage in normal activities. While more persons over 65 have chronic illnesses or declines in physical abilities that limit their activity, they learn to live with them and lead happy and productive lives.
MYTH: Suicide rates decrease with age.
FACT: Older adults are considered the group most at risk for suicide. That is more than 50% higher than young people or the nation as a whole. Many of these suicides are attributed to depression that went untreated or was misdiagnosed.
MYTH: Older adults can't learn new things.
FACT: People maintain the ability to learn throughout life unless a disease interferes. However, learning for some older adults may be slower and there are some small changes in memory. Older adults' intellectual abilities remain much the same as when they were younger. Many older adults learn and enjoy doing new things, develop new interests and contribute actively to their communities.