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Aging and mental illness challenge

Community Member
Dear Beyond Blue

I tried doing the online survey but the problem I have wasn't included. My problem is there is no room made for old people. We have many reasons to be miserable and especially men don't have a clue after they stop working. A lot of us have other disabilities. Age means that some of my dreams will never come true and the ones I am still fighting for, seem more and more unlikely. A lot of us are not rich or even comfortable economically. A lifetime of trying and failing due to mental illness and in my case other factors can be a sore spot one doesn't know how to address. Therapists also have very little understanding of age and psychological factors. Will you put up forums for those who are not young? Being young was horrible in so many ways. Being old isn't good either because there is the finish line and it is quite final.
15 Replies 15

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Newnoz~

As someone who also has that finishing line looming larger I can well understand all the points you are making and quite agree talking with others who have similar porblems is an excellent thing.

May I suggest a couple of avenues to try? (Please bear in mind I'm just another member like you) . I do know from experience Beyond Blue staff related ot the Forum are responsive. They might well be considering the matter as a result of your post here, I'd not know.

First put your wishes and views for the desirability for such a section, what needs ot be discussed in it, common problems and so forth in an email to Beyond Blue


You may even wish to suggest sample questions for future surveys

The second thing is when making a thread title to use some reference in it to older age, so that others can readily see it and join in, or make their own threads with a similar references in their titles.


Hi there newnoz!

Thank you for your honest contributions here and thank you so much for choosing to be a contributing member to our community.

We wanted to take a moment first of all to say we appreciate this feedback! It is thought-provoking. Something that occurred to us as we read your post is that even real-time knowledge of your position is lost to us!! Aging researchers and psychotherapists (counsellor or psychologist) tend to stop contributing to academic and social conversations once they retire, so the wisdom of those with professional skills and experience, who are now gaining lived experience of aging, is being lost often.... and that strikes us as an unaccounted-for loss.

For now, we are wondering what help we might offer by making more forum spaces specifically for aging and mental health, or topics around that, more comprehensive? more strongly related to services that specialise? As Croix said, we would be indebted if you might add more thoughts on that link - but also, please consider continuing to talk to us and the community here?

We would be grateful for your continued insight; and if you need anything at all, please consider reaching out to us! Call 1300 22 4636 anytime 24/7. Regardless of the forum, please keep thinking with us!


Sophie M.  

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello newnoz

I am retired and have been on the forums since 2016. Croix and Sophie_M (the posters above) are spot on where your input is concerned. Younger folk can learn from our life experience re mental health

Croix mentioned a very helpful email address above ' www.beyondblue.org.au/support-service/email'

Thankyou for your excellent thread topic newnoz!

we are listening


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Newnoz, you do make a very good point here, but many people on the forums are in our age group and contribute regularly to help those people struggling with mental illness.

From what we were able to do years ago doesn't happen any more, but then what we can do now, we wouldn't think of doing years ago when much younger.

We're like a magnet, gaining information that again, years ago wouldn't interest us, that's what happen with age.

Remember when you were young isn't there something your grandmother said to you that has always stuck with you, I certainly do and how true she was, that's the knowledge and experience young ones learn from us.

Struggling with a mental illness could be different when you're young and have little support than when you're old, so do people believe we shouldn't be depressed because we should know better and be able to overcome this illness because of the experience we have been through, unfortunately, this doesn't happen as all those problems we had when young, may just become even bigger as we age.

There are many lonely elderly people out there, who would just love to have a cuddle from their grandchildren who can make them feel welcomed, adored, simply because their wrinkly skin is so much different from their own skin.

I know that we can't be left alone to meddle in our own troubles because once this does happen, then the problems of not only ourselves but others can be too overpowering.

We need to be listened to because we're still human beings and have feelings that are still important to be heard.

Take care, we're with you.


Community Member

I would be pleased to see a thread for this. Now I am not fishing for compliments here, please believe me, but revealing my honest feelings and recent experiences. My partner died just 2 years ago and I only realise when I look at photographs of myself taken now...how much my physical appearance ie. my face, hands, neck etc seems like a different person! again I emphasise I am not wanting reassurance or compliments...it is a genuine shock and major re adjustment to "see this" right in front of my eyes, and I am embarrassed knowing my friends and acquaintances have seen these recent photos too. Of course its not a shock to them, they see me in person quite a lot....it was myself who was shocked and upset. It is so personal.

I seem to have aged very much in those 2 years...when I truly thought I looked much younger than my years and beautiful....he told me this constantly and I believed it and felt it too.

I wonder if this is now my "new reality" I cannot avoid. I also participated in an activity I'd been doing for years and to my surprise found it very taxing, tiring, even painful physically at times....{ combined with my shock at seeing photographs of me as I did the activity).....it seemed"hard work" instead of the fabulous fun it has always been.

There is no one to talk to about this, as there is no antidote, or cure. It is real and will come to everyone, even those who are beautiful and vibrant today....I have gotten the usual throw away lines eg. "better than the alternative" "Happens to everyone, "if" you're lucky" "get over yourself" .

It's not funny to me. I am having genuine trouble accepting the loss of the youthful woman I used to be. Mentally and emotionally she is still there, but no one can physically see her any more. Please don't just brush me off as being "conceited". I have never been conceited in my life, far from it.....this is real and upsetting to me.

Hello Moonstruck, I can only agree with what you have said, to remember back or see past photos of what were we like, what we looked like back 30 or 40 years ago till now, we can't believe the physical change that's happened, something that we never expected, it just did.

All the accomplishments we were able to achieve, can no longer happen and seem just a memory, impossible to regain.

I know how you feel.


Community Member

Thanks Geoff. I feel better today. Had another look at myself and realised I can still look good..( for my age)

couple of strangers out shopping made conversation about trivial things and I realised there are still nice people in the world who may be lonely and hating getting older too.

I find doing nice things for myself..makes me feel good. Putting me first isn't selfish...it's what I need just now anyway.

I am not so naive to think this better attitude will last ...I still have a long way to go.

But I deserve to be happy..wrinkles on my hands or not!!

Hello Moonstruck, I know how you feel, getting old is not what I ever thought it would be like, we can't change the clock.

My best.


Community Member

I MUST have received all your responses to my post. My email account is really FULL.
I do need to follow up on your suggestions. Perhaps it was intended that I wait until the new online forum came on. Or it just happened. I have some pretty full-on episodes that derail my life.

Aging isn't all bad. I get a pass on looking for a job, career, going to UNI, getting married or not, having children or not. I don't get a pass on having a life and I need to write up all the parts that need to be dealt with prior to leaving the house (eyes, ears, teeth, phone+ all those pills). Memory issues are big. It is Friday and I'm dead beat.

Thanks for responding, Nora