A Look At Mental Illness

2396 Words Aug 3rd, 2015 10 Pages
Underdiagnosed and Undertreated: A Look at Mental Illness in the Elderly
Kourtney Bercheni
American Public University System

PART I
Mental health as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productivity and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to the community” (Chaves, et al., 2014). Mental health in the elderly is a growing concern. Many elderly do not seek or receive proper treatment for their mental illness. This is, in part, due to several barriers that prohibit the elderly from seeking help. Mental illness in the elderly is brought up by several different factors, including depression. Treatment for mental illness is often not received because insurance does not cover the costs. Common issues with mental health and in the elderly include care and treatment, comorbidity, diagnosis, and lack of funds. These issues will be discussed further, as well as a proposed solution to make being elderly slightly different.
Twenty percent of people age 55 and older suffer from a mental illness, with less than only three percent seeking professional help. Strata Health notes that elders account for seven percent of inpatient psychiatric care, and nine percent of private psychiatric care. It is estimated that 18 to 25 percent are in need of mental health care for illnesses such as depression, anxiety, psychosomatic disorders,…

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