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Depression, Suicide, Aging, and EQ
There are so many myths about getting older. For example, do you think, as many do, that “all old people are the same,” and that no one changes after about 50 years of age?
Nothing could be further from the truth. Freud’s famous statement that people could not change after the age of 50 is simply not true. At the time he created his theories, most people did not live past 50, and of course that shaped his ideas. He probably didn’t see many people over 50.
Indeed this small proportion of people in older age groups boggles our understanding. Many of the available psychological assessments have not been standardized on enough people over the age of 60 to be reliable for individuals in that age group. It’s about developmental stages and you wouldn’t expect “normal” to mean the same for a 75 year old as a 42 year old and any more than for a 6 year old and a 12 year old his age.
Older people are not alike as individuals or as a group. Studies show that people aged 60-69 are the most “confused”, but at the same time, the highest suicide rates of any age group occur among individuals 65 and older. 81% of high suicidal people are male and Anglo males are particularly vulnerable. White males over 65 have the highest suicide rate, second only to young white males. Suicide rates are higher for those who are divorced or widowed, and the cause is attributed first to physical ailments, followed by depression.
The percentage of elderly people in the population has steadily increased from 3% in 1900, to around 12% now. It is expected to increase to 21% in the next 30 years. Since most emotional problems are often referred to a primary care physician, like physical problems (headaches, back pain), medical schools are rushing to learn about geriatric medicine and psychology. in training doctors. Psychology licensing boards are also starting to require it.
It is important to understand that depression manifests itself in different ways. We usually think of the depressed person as “lethargic”, the one who moves and thinks slowly, cannot maintain eye contact, speaks negatively, has no interest or unable to enjoy their usual pleasures, and wanting to sleep all the time. But depressed people can be frustrated, angry, restless, irritable, eyes darting around, frantically trying to enjoy things (but can’t), and not being able to sleep much .
In both cases, women can talk about their feelings, but men tend to complain about physical ailments when they see a doctor.
It is important to understand that depression is not a “normal” part of aging, and that it is treatable. If you think you are depressed, or your loved one is, it’s a good idea to start with a physical examination. You should make a list of the medications that are taken, and also consider the usual use. Many elderly people, especially those who live alone, neglect nutrition and exercise.
As I say in my e-book, “EQ and Depression,” you don’t have to be depressed as you age. You must feel good. Many seniors have a high EQ, are smart, and know copycats. EQ is supposed to increase with age, but not if you don’t work on it. Skills such as flexibility, creativity and resilience can be learned, and it is beneficial to start developing them in adulthood, as they take time to learn. Preventing physical problems, you can learn how to manage your emotions and the thoughts that accompany them, and cause them.
We know that loneliness is worse for our health than high blood pressure and obesity combined, and not being lonely depends on your interpersonal skills – your ability to make new friends and keep the old ones.
Learning to work around changing things requires creativity. It tends to take longer, for example, to learn new things as we get older, but many older people are capable of “many ways to skin a cat.” There are also ways to make short-term memory loss less difficult. Short-term memory loss is one of the things that comes with getting older, but seniors’ vast experience in coping gives them plenty of tricks to pull it out. bag to help them remember.
As one of my top coaching clients tells me, “My short-term memory is about 10% off, but since it used to be well above average, I’m doing fine . Now I just write things down, as I saw them. others do for years.”
The ability to meet challenges creatively depends on having an optimistic attitude, which can also be learned. I coach people in positive abilities and emotional intelligence all the time! If you want, and you are willing, you can learn to change self-limiting beliefs, once you realize that they are not working for you. It comes down to getting the right information (how it’s not “normal” to be depressed at any age, old age included) and then being aware of your feelings and self-talk, and changing them.
Depression usually responds best to a regimen of exercise, good nutrition including neutraceuticals, medication, and mental work. Coaching can help you move forward, make goals and stay accountable to them.
We also know that smart older people are lifelong learners. Although we don’t make more brain cells as adults, we can continue to make new connections throughout our lives if we learn new things; the more radical the better. This means if you are an engineer, take a literature course. If you are a Spanish teacher, study physics. If you are a left-brained mathematician, take an EQ course and develop the other side of your brain. As someone said, “fall in love with learning and you will never have a broken heart”.
Intention is a higher level emotional intelligence ability. Why don’t you plan to be one of those smart and happy seniors who age gracefully? Look after your health now, no matter what age you are, and don’t leave out the EQ skills. The time to develop them is now.
Our emotions directly affect our immune system, which is our health. They also affect our ability to get along with others, and enjoy ourselves. Men in particular may want to address the EQ issue. I know from the statistics, and from my coaching practice, that a man who lives alone at the age of 60 or older is in a vulnerable position, and although there are more men at that age than women, the smart women hold out for. bless the healthy, EQ-smart men with the married state that promotes health.
Start now. It’s never too late to learn!
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#Depression #Suicide #Aging