TIME TO TALK

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

MANY peo­ple will now be heartily agree­ing with the sen­ti­ment that "60 is the new 40" be­cause ei­ther they have reached the lat­ter mile­stone or they will soon.

While get­ting older has ad­van­tages for some, such as grand­chil­dren, the end of mort­gage re­pay­ments and feel­ing more con­fi­dent, age­ing can also put peo­ple at in­creased risk of de­vel­op­ing de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety.

Phys­i­cal ill­ness and chronic pain can get peo­ple down. Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing per­sonal loss, which could in­clude los­ing a friend or loved one, one's in­de­pen­dence, health or a job, also may be psy­cho­log­i­cally dis­tress­ing.

Ev­ery­one feels down or anx­ious oc­ca­sion­ally, but when these feel­ings per­sist for more than a few weeks, it is time to talk to some­one who can help.

As well, older peo­ple should not at­tribute phys­i­cal symp­toms such as un­ex­plained aches and pains, stom­ach up­sets, ap­petite changes and sleep­ing prob­lems just to "get­ting older".

These can all be symp­toms of de­pres­sion and/or anx­i­ety and can be treated suc­cess­fully.

We know these con­di­tions are com­mon and we en­cour­age ev­ery­one to pay just as much at­ten­tion to main­tain­ing good men­tal health as they do to re­main­ing phys­i­cally healthy.

Life starts at 60: de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety should not. GE­ORGIE HAR­MAN, chief ex­ec­u­tive, be­yond­blue.

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