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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 288-292

The Indian concepts of lifestyle and mental health in old age

Department of Geriatric Mental Health, Chhatrapati Shahu ji Maharaj Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
S C Tiwari
Department of Geriatric Mental Health, Chhatrapati Shahu ji Maharaj Medical University, Lucknow - 226 003, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.105553

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Lifestyle is the perception of a particular person or entire society towards life and it is the way people live, think and behave. In Indian lifestyle, principles of Karma (action) and dharma (the righteous way to perform the work) are given significant value. In India, earlier, the life of an individual was being regulated harmoniously according to the stages (Ashrams) of life, i.e., studentship (Brahmcharya); householder (Grihstha); forest dweller (Vanprasth); ascetic (Sanyas) and was meant to maintain the discipline, peace and harmony in the family and society. However, revolution in the social milieu and political scenario changed the patterns of religious beliefs and lifestyle of individuals. And thus, the Indian lifestyle got colored with shadows of cults and cultures. The lifestyle affects the longevity and health in old age. Lifestyles also have role in developing cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD found to be more common in socially isolated older adults. Deteriorations in health (especially mental health) are often the results of faulty lifestyles like smoking, alcohol intake, improper diet and lack of exercise as well as an adverse psycho-social milieu. Adopting the advocated principles of Indian concepts of lifestyle and paying proper attention to mental illnesses of older adults and recognizing their problems may preserve mental health in old age.



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