As we enter old age, our bodies start wearing out due to natural wear and tear. We seem to notice aches and pains in different parts of our bodies. But these are the physical signs of an aging body. There are many mental signs of deteriorating health, as well. From drastic changes in mood to general forgetfulness, geriatric patients often have many symptoms of an ailing mind.
Though most of these signs are merely natural changes, some changes can be more than they seem. Some changes are warning signs that show problems with the brain’s functionality. It can be harmful to ignore these problems. Therefore we must understand which changes are signs of deteriorating health and which are not.
Read through this article to identify six signs of deteriorating health that are indicators of critical issues.
- Unexplained weight loss: Loss of appetite and weight loss are early indicators of serious illnesses. If you or a loved one is exhibiting a loss in hunger, there may be a cause for concern. There are many reasons a person might be losing weight. They may have anorexia or might be feeling too worn out to bother about their diet. Sometimes weight loss can also be an early symptom of a critical health issue such as cancer or dementia as people with dementia often forget to eat. Therefore it is imperative to have regular weigh-ins.
- Memory loss: While everyone is a little forgetful, general forgetfulness can be a warning sign of a deteriorating mental state. Forgetfulness among the elderly is especially worrying since it is a symptom of Alzheimer’s or dementia. If you forget necessary things like turning off the gas more than often, then you might have a problem. Forgetfulness that interrupts daily life is a cause for concern. Memory loss that affects everyday chores like shopping or eating is a common symptom of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Some common signs include getting lost in familiar places, becoming confused about things, or repeatedly asking the same questions. Sometimes, forgetfulness is also a side effect of anxiety and depression. If that is the case, then you should consult an expert. But it is not feasible to have in-person appointments in the current pandemic. States with high COVID19 cases throughout the country recommend video appointments. So, those living in San Francisco should opt for online therapy in San Francisco CA, to avoid infections.
- Faulty decision making: Our mental health also affects how the brain takes and processes decisions. According to experts, mental health can impact our decision-making power. While some mental health diseases, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, might have elaborate rules for decision making. Other illnesses, such as anxiety or depression, lead to poor decision-making skills. Faulty decision making has a strong link with general forgetfulness. Sometimes people with schizophrenic tendencies might also experience hallucinations that critically affect how they perceive themselves and others. Therefore, if you or someone close is exhibiting strange behavior, it is imperative to seek help.
- Increase in sensitivity: Mental health issues can cause drastic changes in a person’s personality. It can also make people more sensitive to the small things in life. People with manic depression get more irritable or emotional than usual. Therefore, experts suggest monitoring your moods to establish a pattern. Suppose you think that you or a close family member get overly sensitive about things more frequently than usual. In that case, visit a mental health professional.
- Inability to sleep: Humans need at least seven to eight hours of quality sleep to function. However, some mental illnesses can change sleep patterns. According to experts, disturbed sleep is a classic symptom of a deteriorating mental state. Those suffering from depression often get either too little or too much sleep. Indeed feeling too tired or having low energy is also a common symptom of chronic depression. Furthermore, people with bipolar disorder might not even feel the need to sleep at all. Therefore, you should watch out for any dramatic changes in sleeping patterns as they are a warning sign of mental illness.
- Feelings of guilt: Most of us are the best critics of ourselves. While self-examination is vital for personal growth being overly critical about ourselves can signify deteriorating mental health. Those suffering from depression often feel like they are worthless. So if your or a loved one is frequently criticizing themselves, it might be a sign of depression. Often these feelings may lead to suicide. If you or someone you know ever talks about attempting suicide, they might require urgent medical assistance. Get in touch with the suicide prevention hotline to diffuse the situation immediately.
It is difficult to differentiate between normal behaviors and signs of mental illnesses. Getting a mental health diagnosis is a complicated procedure because some mental health problems may have opposite symptoms in different patients. For example, getting excess or less sleep are both common symptoms of depression. So, it can be confusing to tell when someone exhibits symptoms of mental illness. But some signs are common to all. Suppose you or a friend or a family member is experiencing three of the symptoms discussed above. In that case, their mental health might be deteriorating. Remember, early intervention is vital to prevent major mental health issues, so you should always be vigilant.