Managing Mental Health as We Age

May 16, 2023
May is Mental Health Awareness month, and for good reason. Mental illness has been plagued with a stigma that makes people feel embarrassed and leaves them uneducated about their condition. As a result, more than half of all Americans with mental illness went untreated as recently as the year 2021. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 20 adults experience a serious mental illness each year in the United States. In Florida, it is reported that nearly 650,000 adults and 180,000 youth suffer a mental illness.
The inevitable bumps in life have a natural impact on our mood and behavior throughout our life, but  mental health disorders like depression is not a normal part of aging. However, older adults are at an increased risk of experiencing depression, and are often misdiagnosed.
Fortunately it can be treated, but first, we need to recognize the symptoms such as:
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities that were once pleasurable
  • Feelings of worthlessness or pessimism
  • Recent onset of fatigue or decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating , engaging or making decisions
  • Insomnia or wakefulness
If you are experiencing these feelings or moods, or you notice them in you loved one, It is important to know that there is help. In the Ft. Meyers/Naples area, there are many resources dedicated to supporting those who struggle. The website  provides an exhaustive list of organizations, services and support groups in the greater Lee and Collier counties of Florida.