Do you think that the historical events our current elderly population witnessed altered their mental state?

I'm doing a research topic for school and I'm just curious on peoples opinion on the topic. With age many peoples mental status starts to go. Could this mental decay be slightly caused by all of the traumatic events they have had to witness? Do you think that the historical events such as The Cold War, Vietnam War, The Great Depression, Cuban Missile Crisis, the assignations of a great president and the fall of the Twin Towers, our current elderly population witnessed altered their mental state?

31 Answers

  • Mike S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well not this is a toughie. Would you agree that they may have affected our senior citizens as much as hard rock, metallica, rap and video games not to mention the internet has affected our younger generations? I for one do not believe the events I have witnessed and experienced hurt me in any way. Good luck to you pardner.

  • 1 decade ago

    Most people by time they are 70, 80 or more, have seen or experienced truthful historical examples of decades of cruelty, mismanagement and injustice done by humans, organizations, or world leaders because of greed, hate,or self interest, such as the holocaust for example. Bad events wouldn't have anything to do with"mental decay", but it would mental depression. Many people who are still sharp and aware of of things at an older age have seen or lived through many events. Some have been through more than others though, and anyone of any age would feel depressed naturally, after experiencing some of these things.These pages will help to explain and might help answer some of your question.

  • Jo
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    personally, these events did not alter my mental state....but my husband was a Marine in the Viet Nam war, and two of his brothers were killed there. SO, I do think it has effected his mental state, he just last year had his first flash back from the war. I think the human mind is different from animals because we have the ability to rationalize events, and accept things. Also, if you would talk to people who were in Nazi concentration camps....these are strong strong people, who saw such horrible events daily, and have went on to live their own lives. The human mind is a wonderful thing.....some people can not forget, but learn to live with the memories

  • 1 decade ago

    It would appear that your research paper is heavily biased against the objectivity of war prevention. You made your conclusion first, now you proceed to surround it with unsupported myth about the elderly state of mental health.

    Have you ever given thought that all people face illness once or twice in their lives of major proportions. That Medicines can cause some form of damages. That drug abuse in their earlier years along with alcohol abuse had a greater degree in causing the faults that you so wantonly point out.

    Hereditary has a lot more to do with mental illness then does war. Diet is another factor and not the cold war of the 50's, 60's, 70's and 8's.

    The Great Depression made us wiser. I know, I see that the youth of today have not taken up the advice of the elderly. And we sit by just watching panic and fear. History is repeating itself.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Monty
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Altered their mental states? Yes, events around you are sure to make a difference in the way you think about things. Cause mental decay? No, of course not! You can be altered without causing decay.

    For example, both my Mom and my mother in law became very frugal. Always were conscious of how much money they were spending. Mother in law was really upset. Never, ever bought anything, even if she truly needed it, unless it was on sale. Leftover from the Great Depression.

    Both of them had recipes that they always used for eggless cakes and things, as a leftover from WWII and the rationing.

  • 1 decade ago

    Mental decay is usually not precipitated by events although SOME events can cause MEGA stress and things like PTSD...and yes, affect mental accuity and mental well being, though not necessarily 'decay'.

    My Dad was an infantry officer in the Army and when he passed, way too young at 73, I had an autopsy performed and the neurosurgeon told me that years of stress due to wars, MIA, POW etc caused deterioration in his blood vessels. However, he was not senile whatsoever.

    If anything, IMHO, having lived through those many events you mention and more, tend to make one MORE appreciative of LIFE and how to put LIVING in your Years!..thus making for BETTER mental 'state' as you call it :-)

  • Dinah
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    No, I do not think what we've witnessed altered our mental state. Your instructor is challenging you to research whether the effect of a lifetime of witnessing traumatic events is cumulative. What acuity is lost is sometimes natural with time, even spent in utopia. Those who keep food over-supplied in memory of the great depression understand the nature of free enterprise, that it rises and falls, and though that food may be an unnecessary habit, it certainly isn't now, in this recurrent downfall.

    "Decay" is an inaccurate concept of yours. And remember with all these decades of living, between every traumatic event were long periods of industrious productivity, enjoyment of the outdoors, joy of babies and children, cherishing of pets, the general replenishing sources of strength and reflection we all spend a great deal more time than traumatic events take. War veterans recover or not as individually as dementia strikes individually or not.

    Though it is common for youth to dread aging, in most cases it is a sad misconception. The immediacy and fragility of living is appreciated more sharply witnessing traumatic events, being reminded any of those catastrophes could have involved you instead, but for geography. In cases such as both Kennedy assassinations, King's, and all other events that change American direction, it does indeed happen to you, necessitating adaption. In cases such as earthquakes, mine collapses, hurricanes, fires, and volcano eruptions, you learn the depth of empathy. In cases such as murder, rape, child molestation, and other crimes, your awareness of the ugly side of living balances with perspective, and appreciation that it wasn't you. In so many cases, overall, life is arbitrary and depends on variables.

    Source(s): A Good Age by Alex Comfort, a perfect source for your assignment.
  • Lynn
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    This strikes me as a very amusing question given you to write about.

    For the answer would obviously be a loud, "no" from anyone. If anything we have been greatly educated by being around to have wit-

    nessed these things on live TV. If there was any manipulation by the

    press, it was covered up. No we are wiser, and more strenthened by

    learning we no longer live in a protected environment. That no one is

    safe, and we cannot live in a fantasy world as many of us did as

    children. We now know our country is not impregnable. And that we

    can be destroyed from forces within the country boundaries, if terr-

    orists set their minds to it. For getting in, is no longer a problem,

    with lax security along our perimeters. You forgot to include the

    production of the atom bomb. There was much fall out in the testing

    area, and at the time, a western movie was being filmed just outside

    of that general testing area. It affected every cast member in that

    film, for each developed a form of cancer, that they all died from in

    later years. This included the well known and popular actor, John

    Wayne. I wonder if you teacher knows that bit of trivia.

  • Stella
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Well, if a person was actually there, and involved in a tragic event, I'd say "maybe" they'd be affected. But for the vast majority of us, we were aware of these events through reading about them in the paper, or seeing them on television. World events have not had any appreciable effect on me, and I would think it would be the same for anyone . Mental deterioration happens to most people with age, no matter what sort of life they have led. Its a sort of lucky dip - or unlucky dip I should say - as to who gets severely affected. Your question is interesting, but I think, incorrect in its supposition. Good luck with your assignment.

  • 1 decade ago

    Not their mental state but the way they conduct their lives. I think my parents' generation is amazingly resilient and by and large (at least by the ones I know) are in great mental and physical health. Sure, they have age-related body breakdowns and are slowing down but they seem to be in far better health then my generation (just from the shape we are in). I don't think current events deplete or twist up brain cells and if anything, it's made them stronger, more resourceful, more determined to survive through thick and thin.

  • -
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The Veteran's mental hospitals were full of broken soldiers after wars, the trauma of war not only affects the people who serve in the military but their families too,. I wouldn't necessarily call it "mental decay", but coping with these types of stresses repeatedly for one generation after another is bound to have serious effects on society for decades. Have known several veteran's who were misdiagnosed for decades by the VA and some only recently got the correct diagnosis and treatment, even if in their elderly years, suppose it is better than spending the entire remaining years untreated. I believe "decay" is not the proper word as it means "rotting" more like neglect or mistreatment in many cases.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.