Mental Health and Illness

Mental illness often results in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life

Serious mental health disorders include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive/compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Sometimes a guardianship is imposed because of a mental health or psychiatric disorder that impairs a person’s ability to think, make decisions and care for themselves. The impact can be particularly severe for those who have not been diagnosed properly by medical professionals for their disability. Even for those who have been diagnosed — far too often they will not be under the constant care of a medical care provider and/or they are medication non-compliant or fail to take their prescribed medications.

It is anticipated that the number of older adults with mental and behavioral health problems will almost quadruple, from 4 million in 1970 to 15 million in 2030

Regardless, mental illness can be devastating to a person: a loss of physical and sensory abilities, a loss of status and income, a loss of family and friends, etc. This is not a complete list of the negative impacts to a person’s health and well-being. Because of the debilitating impact to a person, when there is no one to support them, a guardian may be appointed.