Mental activity v. Mental decline?

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yakdiver
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby yakdiver » 11 Dec 2018, 6:04pm

Just grow old gracefully........now what was the question again.....
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661-Pete
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby 661-Pete » 12 Dec 2018, 10:44am

yakdiver wrote:Just grow old gracefully........now what was the question again.....
Joking aside :lol: - yes I see that as my best option. My father never reached that stage - he died at age 60. Possibly he couldn't have coped with being elderly, in my recollections of him. I'd like to think I can do better...

I wonder if this alarmist report (well, I'm calling it 'alarmist' for my own obvious reasons...) is confusing cause and effect. Obviously those seniors who do keep up the mental activities like crosswords, are also the ones with greater mental acuity. All I can say is, taking up bridge again (after a gap of some 30-40 years) has been something of a boost to my well-being. A double benefit, because I am now cycling to the bridge venue most weeks (weather permitting) - a 20-mile round trip. Not a huge distance, but my own....

As to chess - sorry bp, not a prayer! I assure you, I'm utterly hopeless. I know how the pieces move but that's about it. But if you want to challenge me - or anyone else - to an online game, go ahead! Put an opening move in the Fun & Games section. At least, if I take you on, I'll have proved my point - and had a bit of fun!
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

brynpoeth
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby brynpoeth » 12 Dec 2018, 10:59am

I cannae chess either :wink:

Been to several lectures for Seniors, about literature, religion, history, some things I know about, some new things, they are at 15oo so I do not get home too late :?
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
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althebike
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby althebike » 12 Dec 2018, 12:46pm

There used to be a lot of things I could do on autopilot, but now each task requires attention. If I put the kettle on to make tea, and fill the water jug while I am waiting for the kettle to boil, it will overfill. If I make toast and tea at the same time, I have to stop myself pouring milk on to the toast. The answer maybe just to keep out of the kitchen.

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Cugel
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby Cugel » 12 Dec 2018, 5:08pm

Mental activity forcibly divorced from physical activity to accompany it is perhaps not a good thing. Reading books or watching filums whilst slumped on the sofa is not likely to improve anything, including the wetware. Personably I like to have plenty of activities of the mental + physical type, for the variety as well as the holistic nature of them.

Cycling can be one, especially in a group or when exploring the unfamiliar (without a Garmin - orienteering is a fine mental activity). I also like cabinet-making, inclusive of the designing and figuring out the processes; collie-walking, which is a test of wills as well as a great entertainment. Learning the classical guitar - a near-impossible at my age, especially when needing to learn to read music; and the theory of music; and all that finger poking that must be just-right; and ....

Doing crosswords? I can't, partly because I'm not clever enough and partly because I get bored after 97 seconds.

I do read arcane philosophy books. This actually makes one more stupid, as one realises just how peculiar the world is and just how many ways one can "understand" it (or not). I suspect that many philosophers were in fact senile or already suffering from some sort of mental rot. I mean - consider that Nietzsche! Daft as a brush.

Cugel

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pjclinch
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby pjclinch » 14 Dec 2018, 9:00am

Chess...

I do like it, but,
Shibumi Trevanian wrote:Go is to Western chess what philosophy is to double-entry accounting.

there's games I like a lot more.

If it's mental activity to ward off depressive tendencies it might not be the best approach to play "brain burners". Perhaps something a bit more sociable? (Bridge is more sociable between hands, but not during, something like Pandemic where you're co-operating with fellow players to beat the system may be better).

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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661-Pete
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby 661-Pete » 22 Dec 2018, 9:26am

pjclinch wrote:Chess...

I do like it, but,
Shibumi Trevanian wrote:Go is to Western chess what philosophy is to double-entry accounting.

there's games I like a lot more.
I believe you're right, there. I've heard something along those lines said, by others. But I haven't the foggiest how to play Go - never tried it! I think, perhaps, at my age..... :(

If it's mental activity to ward off depressive tendencies it might not be the best approach to play "brain burners". Perhaps something a bit more sociable? (Bridge is more sociable between hands, but not during, something like Pandemic where you're co-operating with fellow players to beat the system may be better).

Pete.
I'd love to agree with you but social skills are not my strong point. Playing bridge, the off-topic chat between hands so often turns to politics, which I shy away from in real-life (although I'll readily hold forth on this forum! :oops: ). Or if the discussion dwells on the board just played, I'm torn between two extremes. If the board went well for us, I'm afraid the opponents will think I'm gloating. If it went badly, they'll think I'm having a moan. No-win!

This has not been a good week for me. The 'black dog' weighs heavily..... :|
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

Carpediem
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby Carpediem » 23 Dec 2018, 11:57pm

Very brave of you to bring mental health issues to the forum,and full respect to.
For a start your obviously not alone here, there are millions of us.
I'm no expert but in my experience as we age we obviously can't do things we could 20 yrs ago,which is frustrating and can lead to a drop in self confidence.
Like you I eat a healthy diet and drink very little,I cycle around 25mls twice a week,but much slower than even 10 yrs ago which is itself demotivating,(I'm 69 btw)
Another possible cause of mental issues can be the sudden loss of a loved one,we sadly lost our 22yr old son in a climbing accident 7 yrs ago,and though as they say time does heal,the hurt never goes away,and both my wife and I have lost some of our "jois de vie".
Any excercise in the form of running walking,or in my case cycling is good for our mental well being,apart from my wife worrying about me having an accident,she now even follows me on strava "beacon"which is actually very good.
As other folks have said taking up new hobbies or joining groups with like minded interests is the way to go.
You've just encouraged me o dig out my old guitar from the loft and get back into playing again,thanks and good health to anyone in a similar situation,your not alone.
Paul.
And a great Christmas to each and everyone

andrew_s
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby andrew_s » 26 Dec 2018, 11:09am

Another cause of mental decline can be the medical profession.

My dad (90, now) was put on to statins, purely because the statistics said it would help with the drive to make everyone live for ever, as far as I can make out.
Within a year or two, he couldn't do the Times crossword any more, and was suffering from depression. When he packed in the statins (leg ulcers), the depression lifted, and he's now back on the daily crossword.

brynpoeth
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby brynpoeth » 26 Dec 2018, 12:31pm

Carpediem wrote:Very brave of you to bring mental health issues to the forum,and full respect to.
..

Plus One for talking/communicating
Goethe wrote about 'Scheitern am Erfolg', failing in success, read a couple of articles about this
People who are not lonely, poor, unhealthy are depressed, it is hard to understand why
Doubtless some people who are disadvantaged are happy
Wolfgang Schmidbauer suggests that farming people were happy and settled because they were always occupied and had little time to think, typically they lived in extended families, this changed when ice-powered machines were introduced
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love the three Es: enforcement, enforcement & enforcement

pwa
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby pwa » 28 Dec 2018, 9:16am

661-Pete wrote:Just been reading this article.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46507024
I find it a bit alarming. After all, I've been doing stuff like Sudoku, crosswords, playing bridge, in recent years, in the expectation that it will help keep the old grey cells going for a few years yet (I'm 68).

That besides a moderate amount of healthy activity. After all I do still cycle, though the level has declined drastically in recent years. And my BP is regularly monitored, my diet is reasonably balanced and healthy, I've never smoked, I rarely drink alcohol, etc. etc.

But my mental health is certainly not all it should be. I've had on-and-off depression for years, intermixed with bouts of anxiety and panic attacks. And I find I can barely play the piano any more - mainly for psychological reasons. I go 'off the rails' at times.

Any ideas?

A daily walk, preferably with some of it being brisk. Make it a habit, in all but the very worst weather. You get some exercise and you get out of the confines of your home, giving you a chance to reboot your mental state.

brynpoeth
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby brynpoeth » 28 Dec 2018, 10:07am

Get tired, I went on a trip yesterday, cycle/train, slept beautifully this morning

Learn a new language, not an easy one! Georgian looks interesting, has a quite different alphabet, Georgians manage to learn English, so it should be possible :wink:
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love the three Es: enforcement, enforcement & enforcement

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Cugel
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby Cugel » 28 Dec 2018, 2:11pm

brynpoeth wrote:Get tired, I went on a trip yesterday, cycle/train, slept beautifully this morning

Learn a new language, not an easy one! Georgian looks interesting, has a quite different alphabet, Georgians manage to learn English, so it should be possible :wink:


I am trying to larn Cymraegy argot but I am afraid of having an anaesthetic prior to the necessary tongue transplant. Wot if there's a glitch and the anaesthetist decides to accept fate on my behalf because I'm a gimmer? Also, I might not like the new tongue, even if it can spit, roll rrrrrrs and otherwise do Welsh stuff with alacrity.

Cugel, a proto immigrant to the Land of Your Fathers.

brynpoeth
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby brynpoeth » 28 Dec 2018, 3:53pm

Cugel wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:Get tired, I went on a trip yesterday, cycle/train, slept beautifully this morning

Learn a new language, not an easy one! Georgian looks interesting, has a quite different alphabet, Georgians manage to learn English, so it should be possible :wink:


I am trying to larn Cymraegy argot but I am afraid of having an anaesthetic prior to the necessary tongue transplant. Wot if there's a glitch and the anaesthetist decides to accept fate on my behalf because I'm a gimmer? Also, I might not like the new tongue, even if it can spit, roll rrrrrrs and otherwise do Welsh stuff with alacrity.

Cugel, a proto immigrant to the Land of Your Fathers.

Doubtless it is dormant in you somewhere, we are all a bit Welsh

Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi..
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love the three Es: enforcement, enforcement & enforcement

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Mick F
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Re: Mental activity v. Mental decline?

Postby Mick F » 28 Dec 2018, 4:32pm

brynpoeth wrote: .................. we are all a bit Welsh
For me, I was born there and have a Welsh birth certificate. Dad had a job based in Chester and he and Mum bought a little house up in the hills above Wrexham when I came along.
Other than that, I'm of Lancastrian descent as far back as I can trace it.

I doubt very much that were's all a bit Welsh. Some of the ancient brits retreated into Wales when the Romans arrived, but not all by any means. Many of us northern types are descended from Vikings.
Mick F. Cornwall