It is referred to as geriatric psychiatry and there is focus on the treatment of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, as well as depression.
There is shortage across the nation of psychiatrists, even more so, psychiatric providers who specialize in treating older populations.
Mental illness affects close to 15% of the older population. This number is a mere estimate, and doesn’t account for the untreated elders who do not have access to mental health services.
In order to support our elderly loved ones as they approach end of life, it is important to educate ourselves on what they are truly going through so that we can be there for them as they have helped us throughout our life.
Theories, religion, and society contribute different analysis of the human psyche. One thing about the human psyche that most can agree upon is that it is difficult to analyze our own personal condition without bias, in fact, it’s likely impossible. This bias is mitigated by the role of mental health professionals. We even attempt to eliminate this bias through friends and family.
Most people are not aware of their actual condition, and others may have a measure of self-reflection, however, they may overlook certain aspects of their condition unknowingly.
Self-reflection is not foolproof, which is why we must be willing to nuance our approach to the different challenges we will be presented with in life.
You have to really go deep in understanding the depths of what you need to go into, and to have a method to be able to combat that.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? IDing what your weaknesses are and accepting them. Seeing them as things that you can work on, and are not simply failures are important as well. Also, you can track your progress to see that you are improving in a certain direction. It is important to recognize how far you have come, and IDing these things in the very beginning as well.
Also, have something when you are at your lowest points as an immediate need when you are getting back into your mental headspace. For example, if your GPS goes off track, you need to re-route as soon as possible. Similarly, if you are having massive anxiety, you need to be able to revert back as soon as possible. Do you walk away, do you grab a drink of water, do you pray, what is it that you do to get your mental health in a certain direction.
Do not leave your plan or your program that you developed for yourself. It does not end there when you feel "better", and you can go back into that very quickly. Life is filled with a consistent stream of challenges that may present themselves at any moment.
Belief plays a huge role in mental health.
Research has found that mental health and social interaction have a strong connection with one another.
It is a central part of an individual’s survival. Research has found that the neurotransmitters responsible for regulating stress and anxiety are typically released during these moments of social interaction.
We find that social interaction plays an important role in boosting and maintaining good physical and psychological health in an individual.
The Impact of Social Isolation on Mental Health
Social isolation is directly linked with many mental health illnesses and so we see the importance social interaction has upon overall wellbeing. A marked symptom of depression is social withdrawal. One risk factor we observe amongst individuals who commit mass shootings is social isolation. The effects of social isolation have a negative impact not only on the body but also the mind. Research finds that social isolation was linked to a higher release of cortisol in both men and women. Cortisol is a hormone the body produces in response to stress. If cortisol levels gets too high we
Have you ever wanted something so badly, and once you received it, you realized that it wasn't all that you hoped it would be?
That if we received that promotion we would feel more content, if that special person came into our life, we would feel more fulfilled. If only someone understood us would we feel complete.
It seems the negative emotions we experience are the result of some shortcoming in the world. And if we change our external physical experience, it will have a direct impact on how we feel inside and instantly alleviate the suffering we feel inside.
There isn't any doubt, that if certain things in the external world were different, then we would indeed feel more contented. Living in an area where the weather is ideal would make almost anybody feel more content. Working your dream job will most likely also bring a sense of inner peace and fulfillment.
There are stimuli out in the world that do create a positive shift in the emotions we feel internally.
The issue that exists is that we are now constantly in search of what we can change in our external world in order to influence our internal experience. It becomes all we know. We don’t understand happiness, peace, or satisfaction without a direct stimulus that we can either find, change, or create in the world around us.
We condition ourselves to seek externally how we want to feel internally. We rely on an ever changing reality to maintain a sense of emotional stability. This is inherently a losing battle. We have to separate the external world from our internal world in order to achieve homeostasis.
The human body has mechanisms and pathways which helps it to regulate its own temperature. The body is constantly working to maintain homeostasis internally in response to our environment.
If we are outside on a hot summer day, our body sweats to cool us down. The mind should work in a similar fashion to maintain emotional homeostasis. We have to self regulate what we are feeling internally in response to our environment.
Much of the external world is beyond our control and so this will lead an individual to believe that much of what they are feeling inside is also beyond their control.
This is a myth.
We have to understand and regulate the relationship that exists between our mind and our environment.
We have to self regulate and separate how we feel inside from what is happening to us on the outside.
Many use meditation, music, exercise, reading, art, or religion as tools towards this separation. It’s important to practice this separation.
There is only so much we can attempt to do to control our external reality, our control is limited.
Many people foster a relationship in which their inner peace and happiness is directly dependent upon the external stimulus they are exposed to in the world.
If we foster this type of relationship we develop poor impulse control.
The ability to adapt to situations and navigate them well is what helps us the most.
Cultivating love, inner energy, and allowing that energy to permeate in the world around us is what allows for us to adapt to a world that is greatly out of our control.
Mass Shooting Tragedies
The Mental Health of A Mass Shooter
Could there be psychiatric risk factors as well that can help bring us closer to understanding how and why these mass shootings occur?
Below are 6 risk factors that describe psychological characteristics commonly present among mass shooters.
These risk factors give us some insight into the mental health and psychological dynamics of these perpetrators of mass shootings, that the individuals that commit these crimes may not necessarily have a mental illness, however, the presence of these characteristics predict a potential for engaging in acts of violence.
6 Psychiatric Risk Factors
1. Social Isolation/Rejection
- They have no social support and feel a sense of alienation from others in society.
- They are often alone and feel generally rejected by others.
- They exhibit excessive selfishness and grandiosity.
- They will overestimate their abilities and hold their beliefs in very high esteem.
3. Self-Esteem Issues
- They often struggle with developing a healthy sense of self-esteem.
- Self-esteem regulates narcissism and because of the presence of high narcissism, a healthy sense of self-esteem is never achieved.
4. Persecutory Delusions/ Paranoia
- They may feel as though society as a whole is out to get them.
- They express general disgust towards society and views of hopelessness.
5. Suicidal Ideation
- They may struggle with past or present thoughts of suicidality.
- These individuals also may struggle with Major Depressive Disorder.
Considering All The Factors
It is important to open up the conversation and take into account the many aspects influencing these types of events so that we can work as a community to prevent these tragedies in the future.
Disclaimer: All information, content, and material contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.
Stigma of Mental Health Illness-
Society & Culture
Society heavily stigmatized mental illness and dismissed symptoms as illusions, individuals who suffered from mental health illness were often ridiculed and labeled as "crazy", and the isolation they experienced made psychiatric treatment near impossible.
Physical Illness vs. Mental Illness
Due to the symptoms of mental health illnesses being based in neuro-chemistry, they are often dismissed as figments of psychological illusion. Individuals fear to open up about their symptoms because they fear judgement and the invalidation of their symptoms; they often suffer silently in isolation with their symptoms.
Mental Health Stigma Today
There have also been very heart breaking tragedies that have claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent people. The individuals responsible for these casualties are demonized by the media and in some instances if they are suffering from a psychiatric disorder, it is often implicated as what drove their actions. This type of coverage reinforces the stigma that the mentally ill are inherently dangerous, evil, and a threat to society. Of course, not all those who suffer from a mental illness will carry out such vicious acts of aggression onto innocent people, but the stigma is widespread and media helps to support this.
Mental health awareness is important not only for those who suffer from a mental illness, but also those who do not. It is important we educate ourselves and help build a world in which the people in our community feel safe and supported. If you feel someone close to you is struggling, helping them to seek treatment is life changing. No one should face their struggles in isolation and shame.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder