Long-Term Care

Abnormal thinking and mental health problems

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, November 5, 2009

Mental health problems are common among the elderly, the chronically ill, and the disabled. Since people with mental illness can demonstrate many different symptoms, we often do not recognize the signs. As a result, many people do not receive the medications or treatments that might help. Caregivers should learn how to recognize mental illness and how to care for the mentally ill. Mental illness is a brain disorder that causes abnormal ways of thinking, feeling, or acting. Symptoms of abnormal thinking include:

  • Delusions. This means believing things that are not true. A person might think someone wants to kill or hurt him or her.
  • Hallucinations. This means seeing or hearing things that are not really there. A person who is hallucinating might hear people talking to him or her when no one actually is.
  • Confused thinking. This person might be illogical or not understand things happening around him or her.
  • Suicidal thoughts. Someone with a mental illness might have frequent or constant thoughts of killing him or herself.

This is an excerpt from HCPro’s book, The CNA Training Solution, Second Edition.

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