TIME TO TALK
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.