Death Anxiety, or thanatophobia, is the fear, uncertainty, or dread elicited by the idea of death or dying. Thanatophobia is characterized by a feeling of impending doom—as if death is rapidly approaching, coupled with apprehension at the thought of ceasing to exist, and constant uneasiness at how painful or long such a process might be. Theorists and researches alike have attempted to explain this phenomenon and discovered some contributing factors that put an individual at high risk of developing death anxiety. Adolescents, adults, and the elderly experience death anxiety differently resulting from changing perceptions throughout the lifespan and development. Treatment for thanatophobia is both available and successful when properly assessed.
Therapeutic nihilism based on misinformed preconceptions of age and psychiatric treatment may be common. Too often depression is considered a natural reaction to the vicissitudesof later life ands is explained away as an inevitable and normal response. A study of antidepressants perscibing in primary care found that older patients... ... middle of paper ... ...ic illness. Spouses, family members, and friends may die. Retirement brings loss of income and loss of the workers role.
However, it is risky if an elderly constantly thinks about it and desires to die. The idea of committing suicide usually comes before suicidal behaviour and it can potentially enhance the risk of committing suicide. It is believed that cognitive functioning in the elderly may be distorted and this may lead to depression. According to Beck’s cognitive triad, depression arises from unrealistically negative views about the individual’s self, the world and the future. In the perspective of individual’s self, an elderly will have negative thoughts about himself.
It is understandable, though tragic, that some patients in extreme duress, such as those suffering from a terminal, painful, debilitating illness may come to decide that death is preferable to life. People debate that pain felt by terminally ill people can be controlled to bearable levels through proper management. They conclude that there is no need for physician-assisted suicide. However, many people in North America do not have access to adequate pain
Diagnosis and Treatment of Depression in the Elderly Mental disorders are becoming more prevalent in today's society as people add stress and pressure to their daily lives. The elderly population is not eliminated as a candidate for a disorder just because they may be retired. In fact, mental disorders affect 1 in 5 elderly people. One would think that with disorders being rather prevalent in this age group that there would be an abundance of treatment programs, but this is not the case. Because the diagnosis of an individual's mental state is subjective in nature, many troubled people go untreated regularly (summer 1998).
Everybody's mood varies according to events in the world around them. People are happy when they achieve something or saddened when they fail a test or lose something. When they are sad, some people say they are 'depressed', but the clinical depressions that are seen by doctors differ from the low mood brought on by everyday setbacks. Psychiatrists see a range of more severe mood disturbances and so find it easier to distinguish these from the normal variations of mood seen in the community. General practitioners (GP's) need to be sensitive enough to distinguish emotional reactions to setbacks in life from anxiety syndromes, somatisation and clinical depressions.
Depression needs to be treated right away because it could eventually lead to harming yourself or even suicide. Depression is common in older adults but it is not a normal part of aging. It may be overlooked for some older adults because sadness is not their main symptom. They may have other, less obvious symptoms of depression or they may not be willing to talk about their feelings. Therefore, doctors may be less likely to recognize that their patient has depression.
The effectiveness of these programs will be explored. An individual factor that predisposes older adults to become suicidal is the mental health of an older adult. An accepted definition of mental health is the level of emotional wellbeing or the absence of a mental disorder (WHO, 2010). Several studies (e.g., Uncapher, Gallagher-Thompson, Osgood & Bongar, 1998; & Neufeld & O’Rourke, 2009) explored the effects of mental health issues in relation to suicide in older adults. These studies found; feeling hopeless, depressed and impulsivity could lead to suicide related ideation.
The elderly are not content with their life so they experience a sense of hopelessness that often leads them to commit suicide. Suicide is measured through the psychological, the environmental, and the physical influences; that offer limitations. Many of the elderly may feel depressed about their situations (poverty, lack of family and support, medical help). T=Trends: What are the trends regarding suicide among late adults? The trends that are seen in regards to suicide in the elderly are often based on the environment and the social influences.
Psychiatrists can prescribe drugs and biological means of treatment (Kim 90); psychologists offer psychotherapy as a means of help (Kim 90). “It is (also) important to look at what is happening in life from a perspective that does not turn everyday problems into overwhelming ones.........Remember that everyone has bad days. The trick is to take them in stride. Research tells us that people who don’t catastrophize are less likely to become depressed” (Robbins 180).