What Is the Most Common Mental Illness in the Elderly?

Common Mental Illness

The most common mental and neurological disorders in the elderly are depression, anxiety, and dementia. According to the WHO, clinical depression affects approximately 7 percent of the world’s aging population, while anxiety disorders affect around 3.8 percent of the elderly.

At the same time, roughly 5 percent of older people have Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia globally.

Other mental health concerns in the elderly involve bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, substance use problems, and self-harming behaviors. The WHO’s data suggests that around one percent of the aging population struggles with substance abuse and that these problems are often overlooked in the elderly. Also, around a quarter of deaths from self-harm are among people aged 60 or older.

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