During a particularly troubling time, you wonder if there’s really any hope for change at your age. As you look in the mirror you say to yourself, “After all, you’re 75 years old!”
We began a two-part series yesterday on the prospects for later-life change. Whether we find ourselves in the midst of any presentation of depression, anxiety, or bipolarity; it’s a real and often troubling question.
As we began our discussion, we set the table by reviewing some clinical information regarding Axis I and II disorders, the personality disorders, and temperament. And if you haven’t read yesterday’s piece, you really ought to. You’ll find it here.
There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that positive emotional and mental change can occur at any age. And I’ll support that statement with two marvelous neurodynamics we’ve discussed many times here on chipur.
Neuroplasticity is a wondrous phenomenon by which the brain reorganizes its neural connections in response to new circumstances and environments. Here’s a link to an article providing the details.
Neurogenesis is a fascinating dynamic by which the brain actually grows brand-spanking-new neurons. And it’s known, for example, that neurogenesis occurs very freely in the hippocampus, a major player in our fear and emotion circuitry. More details can be found here.
People, these are very real neurological phenomena that are known to occur well into our senior years. Biological fact!
Now, certainly, the strategies for change depend upon the type and severity of the disorder(s) we’re enduring. Naturally, more involved Axis I disorders present, perhaps, a greater challenge; as do the more pervasive Axis II disorders.
However, positive change can be effected at any age.
In our quest for change, hope is always the first order of business. I mean, without hope – how and why would we ever be motivated to change? And always remember, in addition to the spiritual, hope is based in thought.
I can’t think of too many situations of emotional or mental distress in which evaluating and modifying our patterns and habits of thought isn’t priority one.
Of course, biology and medicines often have to be addressed from the get-go; however, the role of thought is paramount.
That said, how ’bout we look at the prospects for later-life change like this…
Let’s put the brakes on making our ultimate state of emotional, mental, and physical comfort our immediate change goal. Instead, let’s make our immediate change goal focusing upon the power of hope and an overall change in our patterns and habits of thought.
Wouldn’t that make a whole lot more sense? Not to mention making our quest for change and comfort more realistic and productive?
Seeing so many seemingly hopeless cases turn into such wonderfully positive outcomes, I’m telling you the prospects for change, at any age, are always excellent.
But it’s always about hope – and thought.
And that’s a wrap on our two-part series addressing later-life change for those of us enduring depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. chipur readers – your comments are valuable to all of us. Won’t you share?