Geriatric Psychiatry

The number of individuals over the age of 65 is rapidly expanding. In 2012, close to 13% of US population consisted of people who were 65 or up. By 2050 it is projected to be about 20%.  For many individuals, the passage from youth to old age is reflected by a shift from the pursuit of wealth to the maintenance of health. This happens because changes happen in the body and they lead to a diminution in function, altered physical appearance, and increased incidence of physical illness. 

Despite these occurrences in the body, late adulthood can still be a source of considerable pleasure and can convey a sense of competence if attention is paid to diet, exercise, adequate rest, and preventive medical care. 

Common psychiatric problems seen in elderly individuals are 

  1. Depressive disorders and Grief: due to Lose of the partner, Health, Change in the phase of life, Pain etc. 
  2. Cognitive disorders like Dementia and Delirium.
  3. Phobias ( Anxiety Disorders).
  4. Alcohol use disorders. 
  5. The risk of suicide and psychiatric problems due to drug abuse ( mostly prescription drug abuse) are also high in older people.   
  6. Delusional disorder. 
  7. Elder abuse or neglect is also a common problem encountered by older people.   

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