Managing Depression and Anxiety in Older Adults: Special Considerations and Ethical Problems for PMHNPs
Treating Older Adults: Unique Considerations.
Introduction to a Particular Demographic or Age Group:
As a PMHNP, the age group or demographic of interest to me is older individuals, notably those aged 65 and above. The number of older persons with mental health problems is predicted to rise as the baby boomer generation matures. Depression and anxiety are two of the most frequent mental health issues among this demographic, and effective treatment may enhance the quality of life and function dramatically.
Mental Illness Prevalence in a Particular Age Group or Population:
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), over 20% of persons aged 55 and above have mental health issues, with sadness and anxiety being the most frequent. Suicide rates among older persons are also greater than in any other age group. Despite this, mental health issues in this community are often underdiagnosed and undertreated.
What therapeutic factors are specific to the Age Group or Population:
When addressing mental health issues in older persons, there are various factors to consider. Here are some examples:
Changes in physiology and metabolism with age influence pharmaceutical effectiveness and safety, necessitating careful evaluation of doses and associated adverse effects.
Medical problems and drugs that co-occur might influence mental health and treatment choices.
Social isolation, grief, and cognitive decline may influence mental health and treatment adherence.
Stigma and cultural attitudes influence a person’s desire to seek therapy.
Psychotherapy Therapy that is appropriate for this Age Group or Population:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), problem-solving therapy, and interpersonal therapy are psychotherapy therapies that may be appropriate for older persons. These treatments may address age-related issues such as chronic disease, grieving and loss, and fostering social connection.
As someone who had a close family member who suffered from depression and anxiety later in life, I may have personal triggers when dealing with older folks who have similar problems. This might result in bias or countertransference in my therapeutic practice.
Ethical Concerns in Treating a Population Affected by Your Triggers:
While treating a population linked with certain triggers, ethical difficulties might occur if personal triggers are not treated. Bias or countertransference, for example, might impair diagnostic accuracy or treatment planning, thereby causing injury to the patient.
Consider how you could overcome or address these triggers:
To deal with personal triggers, I would become more conscious of my prejudices and seek supervision and guidance to guarantee ethical and successful practice. I’d also practice self-care to deal with emotional responses that could develop during therapeutic work.
Managing older persons with mental health issues necessitates considering specific aspects such as age-related physiological changes, co-occurring medical illnesses, and social and cultural influences. Appropriate therapy may dramatically enhance this population’s quality of life, but personal triggers must be addressed to guarantee ethical and successful intervention.
Association of American Nurses (2015). The nursing ethical code includes interpretative remarks. Author, Silver Spring, MD.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (2017). Facts on depression and suicide in older individuals. URL: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/older-adults-and-mental-health/index.shtml
M. A. Stanley and D. M. Novy (2018). Treatment of anxiety problems in older adults. Geriatric psychiatry: A Case-Based Textbook, edited by E. J. Mullen and M. A. K. O’Reilly, is available online (pp. 87-98). Springer.
What Specific Age Group or Population you would like to treat. Choose one age group or population that is of the most interest to you to treat as a PMHNP in practice. Discuss common issues and treatment involved with this particular age group or population. Then consider any specific triggers that you have and how ethical issues may arise if your triggers are not resolved? Would you be biased toward that population or someone that is associated with your triggers? What can you do to resolve these issues?
Include the following:
1. Title slide
2. Introduction to Specific Age Group or Population
3. Prevalence of Mental Illness in the Specific Age Group or Population
4. What treatment considerations are unique for the Specific Age Group or Population
5. Psychotherapy Treatment that meets the needs of this Specific Age Group or Population
6. Personal Triggers
7. Ethical Issues to Treat a population associated with your triggers
8. Reflection on how you can overcome or resolve these triggers
Include at list 3 scholarly resources to support your ideas.