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As seniors, we spend plenty of time taking care of our health. We exercise to take care of our hearts, we avoid smoking to care for our lungs, we take supplements for our health, and we attend regular doctor visits for preventive care. But what about our mental wellness? A recent study showed that the number one risk mental health issue for seniors is not dementia or Alzheimer’s, but depression. Instead of overlooking or ignoring feelings of unhappiness or lethargy, we can use technology to improve our moods and outlook on life. Here are some great online mental health resources for seniors.
Online Therapy for Seniors
When we think of talking to a psychologist or therapist, we often picture a quiet office with a couch and motivational posters on the wall. However, not everyone has the time or mobility to get back and forth between these appointments, especially if they’re on a weekly basis. For that reason, there are many online services that offer in-home counseling. Patients have the ability to converse with accredited therapists through video chat, texting, and voice messaging. This is a great option for anyone who needs someone to talk to, as research shows that online therapy has been very effective in treating depression and other mental illnesses.
Meditation Apps to Help Seniors With Anxiety
Reducing stress and boosting relaxation plays a big role in mental wellness. Though anxiety may seem like just a part of life, it can be consuming and distracting. Panic and stress disorders affect 40 million Americans, and anyone who suffers from anxiety knows that the negative impacts and symptoms can be wide-ranging. One great way to alleviate feelings of worry and stress is through deep breathing and meditation, as studies have shown it can cause a significant decrease in anxiety. However, you may not know how to get started with these techniques, or even what they are or how they work. Thankfully, there are a ton of great free apps that you can use to begin your journey inward. Here are some excellent options for apps on meditation techniques:
- Anxiety Relief Hypnosis
Message Boards and Online Communities for Seniors with Mental Illness
Suffering from a mental illness or disorder can be a scary time. Even if you’re seeking treatment, the feeling of being mentally unwell is often isolating. For that reason, it’s extremely helpful to converse and exchange thoughts with peers undergoing similar experiences. Unlike physical ailments that are often diagnosed with a short but thorough checklist, these kind mental wellness of issues can manifest in a variety of symptoms,
For example, anxiety disorders generally present as nervousness, shaking, panic attacks, and irritability. But look at this online list from a mental health community; in it, people detail dozens of strange and unique experiences with the disorder, including things like disassociation, vocal tics, numbness, nausea, and narcolepsy. Online communities and message boards can provide people with reassurance that they’re not alone. Dr. Indra Cidambi, Medical Director at the Center for Network Therapy, said in an interview that, “Peer support helps the individual in recognizing that their illness can be overcome due to experience sharing.” If you’re interested in getting started in an online community consider one of these resources:
All of these online resources are great options for you to research and look into. But, the most important takeaway from this article should be this: You are worth it. You are worth the investment into your mental health and happiness and deserve to feel okay. Whether you find solace in one-on-one therapy, relaxation techniques, or sharing with others, please make yourself and your mental wellness a priority.
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