A healthy mind is as important as a healthy body.
Good mental health can help you:
- Enjoy life more.
- Handle difficult situations.
- Stay better connected to your family, your friends, and your community.
- Keep your body strong.
Being in good mental health doesn’t mean that you’ll never feel sad, lonely, or ‘down.’ But when these feelings disrupt your life or go on too long, there may be a bigger problem.
Unusual feelings of sadness or depression can happen when:
- You have to move from your home.
- People you love get sick or die.
- You have to depend on others to get around, or even to do the simple things you used to do yourself.
- Physical health problems seem overwhelming.
In addition to feelings of depression, some of the following changes in behavior may suggest other emotional problems:
- Being easily upset
- Not having the energy to do the things you want to do, or used to do
- Changing sleep habits
- Increasing forgetfulness
- Being afraid of things
- Changes in eating habits
- Neglecting housework
- Crying a lot
- Having trouble managing money
- Believing that you can’t do anything worthwhile
- Being confused
- Getting lost a lot
- Staying alone a lot of the time
- Spending little or no time with friends
- Feeling hopeless or overwhelmed
- Thinking life isn’t worth living
- Thinking about hurting yourself
Here are some things you can do if depression or other changes in your behavior last longer than two weeks:
- Talk with your doctor or other health care professional. Tell them exactly how you’re feeling, and let them know how this is different from the way you used to feel. They can check for any problems you may be having, and can discuss treatment options with you.
- Share your feelings with a friend, family member or spiritual advisor. These people can sometimes notice changes that you might not see.
- Ask for advice from a staff member at a senior center or other programs you participate in.
- Call for information from the National Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116, or speak with the Federal Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) by calling 1-240-276-1310 or visiting its Web site at www.cmhs.samhsa.gov. These organizations can help you find a program or provider near you.
- Check your local yellow pages for organizations that can help.
At any age, help can support growth, discovery, recovery, and happiness.
→ Call the National Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116
→ Call the Federal Center for Mental Health Services at 1-240-276-1310 or go to https://www.samhsa.gov/about-us/who-we-are/offices-centers/cmhs
→ To find treatment go to www.samhsa.gov/find-help
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Last Reviewed: Friday, March 11, 2022