Parents start to be unreasonable, are they old urchins, or are they “old people going bad”?

“What’s wrong with my mother?” Xiao Wang muttered in his heart when he hung up the phone.

10 years ago, after my mother stepped down from the position of university professor, her originally mild personality became violent, and she lost her temper almost every day.

You young people, in your thirties and still don’t want children, where is your sense of responsibility?

You are busy with your work all day long, and I told you to listen to me and go to the xx institution. You don’t go, do you regret it?

My old bones are useless! Stomach discomfort, knee discomfort, every time the doctor only collects money and does not prescribe medicine, saying that I have nothing!


But after getting angry, my mother often called back and apologized to Xiao Wang, choked up, “I shouldn’t have said that, I’m sorry, I can’t control it…”

It’s okay not to apologize, this apology makes Xiao Wang even more confused.

1 in 3 seniors is depressed

When it comes to the elderly, the image in our hearts is often kind, smiling, ready to take out candy from our pockets and give it to the crying children on the roadside.

In fact, the elderly are not always calm and happy .

The World Health Organization defines people aged 60 and over as the elderly. At this stage of life, although people have a clearer understanding of the world and themselves, they will face many special problems:

Irreversible decline of bodily functions, loss of control over life;

Suffering from chronic diseases, cumbersome medication, restricted diet, and hopeless recovery;

Can not keep up with the ever-changing technological products and social culture, feel abandoned by society;

Busy all your life, feel worthless after retirement;

The relatives, friends, and lovers who have been with him for most of his life gradually passed away, and his life became more and more lonely.


The main reasons for depression in the elderly丨”2022 National Depression Blue Book”

What will you be like when you face these problems when you are young and strong, and these problems are irreversible or even worsening? Are you depressed?

Old people will too.

In a study of 17,708 Chinese elderly people, the proportion of depressive symptoms in the elderly over the age of 60 was as high as 35.19% .

In other words, 1 in 3 older adults suffers from depressive symptoms.

Depressed old man lost his voice

You rarely hear about an elderly person who has depression, because depressed elderly people lose their voices . We pay attention to adolescent depression, postpartum depression, and workplace depression, but often ignore the huge number of elderly depression.

Depression without “suppression”

The most common symptoms of depression in our perception are persistent low mood, slowed action and thinking, and no interest in anything.

The performance of depression in the elderly is often not so “suppressed” .

They often feel uncomfortable , chest tightness, shortness of breath, headache and insomnia, but they go to the hospital for examination and the results are normal;

Depressed old people, often suspecting that they have some kind of disease – this may be excessive anxiety about the weakening body;

It is easy to lose your temper for no reason , or the negative reaction to something exceeds the reasonable range, and you feel like a different person compared to the past;

Restless, full of anxiety , always worried about the imminent catastrophe, and doing things that are difficult for others to understand in order to seek a sense of security;

I often blame myself, and even reminisce about the long past, feeling that I did something wrong at that time and that I am sorry for others.

In the eyes of children and grandchildren, these manifestations seem to have nothing to do with “depression”, and they may say lightly: “When people are old, their tempers are strange.”

Difficulty expressing depression

There are a number of reasons that limit depression older adults from expressing their feelings.

Recognizing the change in your mood and linking it to depression is the first big mountain . The elderly seldom express that they are in a bad mood, but often say that they are not feeling well, cannot sleep well, and have poor digestion, so they seek help from the internal medicine and surgery department of the hospital, ignoring their spiritual needs.

After realizing that they may be depressed, some elderly people will have a sense of stigma , thinking that mental disorders and diseases are “crazy” and “brain broken.”

Some elderly people are very afraid of causing trouble to their children , so they choose to endure it by themselves.

This reminds me of what my friend said about his hometown: in that remote village, there are many elderly people who are widowed and their children go out, “several suicides are committed every year. pesticide.”

Suicide is the most extreme silent expression of the depressive old man who has lost his voice .


In many counties and villages, there are a large number of empty-nest elderly people and elderly people living alone. They live in silence丨Tuchu Creative

Caregivers have limited energy

When I was volunteering in a nursing home, 68-year-old Grandma Li told me about her experience:

“I’m getting old and often feel uncomfortable. Tell me to the nurses, and the nurses will tell me, ‘You will feel uncomfortable when you get old, and you should know that’,” said Grandma Li.

“I always quarrel with people when I hear this, but when I look back, I really shouldn’t be stubborn, it’s really causing trouble for others, it’s not right.”

Denying one’s legitimate needs and guilt for making them are obvious signs of depression.

However, when communicating with the staff of the nursing home, the staff showed embarrassment: ” We have limited manpower, and most of the time, we have not experienced dealing with the depression of the elderly. If we can take care of the living needs and health of the elderly, we are already busy enough. already .”


Elderly people who accompany each other丨Tuchu Creative

Professional nursing homes are still like this. Busy children and community workers may find it more difficult to pay attention to the mental health of the elderly .

It’s good to be alive, but also mental health?

We encourage young people to pursue happiness, happiness and achievement, but the expectation for the elderly is that “it’s good to be alive”.

In fact, when people reach old age, they also have spiritual and psychological needs at this stage .

When people are in middle adulthood (40 to 65 years old), people develop the need to care for the next generation . This need is not only met by having the next generation, but also by educating students, helping young colleagues, etc.

If people can adjust the gap between reality and ideal at this stage, they can gain a sense of reproduction, feel that they are valuable, and part of themselves has been inherited and continued.

If this need is not met, people will have psychological stagnation, and the sense of stagnation can easily bring about feelings of helplessness, loneliness, and despair.

In late adulthood (over the age of 65), people have the need to integrate themselves .

People at this age begin to look back on their life. If they have no great regrets and recognize their worth from the past, they will gain a sense of self-improvement and experience satisfaction and pride.

If not, guilt, resentment and other emotions may follow.


Planning a trip for the elderly, going to the places where they stayed in their childhood and youth, can make the elderly gain a lot of satisfaction丨Tuchu Creative

“Alive” is far from enough for the elderly .

If your parents are depressed

If you read the above and find that your parents may be depressed, there are very simple ways to take them to a professional psychiatric department and psychological counseling office.

From the causes of depression in the elderly, we found that there is a move that can alleviate the problem from the source – to accompany them more .

As a child, you must be at the busiest age, and there may be young children who need to be taken care of, and you have no time and energy to accompany the elderly.
I understand your difficulties, and I don’t recommend that you squeeze yourself out to take care of your parents. In fact, companionship can be very simple .

Talk to your parents on the phone and video every week, 10 minutes is enough, tell them about your life and listen to them talk about their life. Remember to laugh more.

Add the city where your parents live to the weather app, and when you see the weather changes, give a warning. They must know to add clothes and bring umbrellas, but your advice is really warm.

Found delicious food and sent a copy to my parents by the way. Although the parents say “don’t buy things indiscriminately”, they must be very sweet in their hearts.


Many people will share their experiences with parents in this group丨Douban screenshot

When you think differently from your parents, be less critical .

A friend once said to me, “You don’t know at all, my parents are very short-tempered. They had to buy health care products a few days ago, and they were almost cheated by a liar for thousands of dollars…”

I told him that it was also a good opportunity to communicate.

In this case, instead of accusing the parents of being “old and confused,” it is better to ask them why they want to buy health supplements.

The friend later learned that his parents felt that they were old and useless, and they were afraid that they would be burdened by illness, so they wanted to use health supplements to keep themselves healthy.

Although “understanding” does not directly solve the problem, “understanding” itself has great value .

if you are a neighbor

When the end of life is clearly and firmly waiting for them, the elderly can feel that there is not much left to live, which will make them seek more social support[6].

As a neighbor, you can do many small things for the elderly around you.

Help the elderly in the community to carry heavy objects, greet the elderly in the elevator for festivals, greet the elderly in the corridor… Don’t feel embarrassed, the elderly will think you are very warm and lovely, and you may also have a year-end friend from now on.

In short, the elderly are already lonely, don’t let them grow older in loneliness.


Figure丨Figure Worm Creative


In the recent hit movie “Mom”, Wu Yanshu, who plays the role of mother, is 84 years old this year. ” Life doesn’t start too late ,” she said.
This applies to older people—whether it’s 60 or 90, we can always start being honest with ourselves and being honest with ourselves.
This sentence also applies to young people – whether it is 10 years old or 30 years old, we can always give more attention and support to the elderly, because that is who we are tomorrow.


[1] Zhou, L., Ma, X., & Wang, W. (2021). Relationship between cognitive performance and depressive symptoms in Chinese older adults: the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS). Journal of Affective Disorders, 281, 454-458.


[3] Darling-Fisher, CS (2019). Application of the modified Erikson psychosocial stage inventory: 25 years in review. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 41(3), 431-458.

[4] Huxhold, O., Miche, M., & Schüz, B. (2014). Benefits of having friends in older ages: Differential effects of informal social activities on well-being in middle-aged and older adults. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 69(3), 366-375.

Author: Guo Lanxin

Editor: Li Xiaokui

Source of cover image: Figureworm Creative


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