Discrimination comes in a wide variety of forms and includes things like racial, sexual and age discrimination. Although it doesn’t receive the same attention as some other forms, age discrimination is a major problem that can lead to severe mental illness when not addressed properly.
Unfortunately, a lot of elderly employees already suffer from various forms of mental illness. Being made to feel like they aren’t worth as much as younger employees can cause these problems to become worse. At the same time, new mental health issues can arise.
In the rest of this article, we’ve looked at some of the most concerning effects of age discrimination. As always, remember to seek professional legal and medical advice where necessary.
One of the worst things about age discrimination is that it can make elderly employees feel like they aren’t valued as much as their younger counterparts. As you can imagine, this can lead to depression and a suite of other illnesses.
Simple things like not being chosen for certain work because of your age can be enough to trigger a pre-existing condition, and long-term discrimination can lead to new illnesses.
- Alcoholism and Addiction
It’s a well-known fact that many older people get lonely and turn to alcohol for support. Age discrimination within the workplace can make them feel less valued, and addiction can become an issue as a result.
This is especially true if the employee in question has little family or personal life outside of work. If your work life is extremely important to you, it’s crucial to ensure you aren’t developing mental illnesses and addictions to deal with discrimination.
- Decreased Self-Confidence
Although this may not appear to be a major problem on the surface, lowered self-confidence can actually lead to a much lesser quality of life. For example, it can:
- Reduce a person’s ability to get out and meet new people.
- Prevent people from trying new activities or joining new sport/social groups.
- Decrease the chance of receiving a promotion or other positive professional reward.
Unfortunately, these things can directly impact mental health as well. People with lower self-confidence are more likely to suffer depression, anxiety and much higher stress than their counterparts.
- High Stress Levels
Finally, age discrimination can lead to high levels of stress, which can affect long-term mental health and workplace performance. If you feel like you’re not valued in your workplace, you will likely stress about the reasons why. Instead of doing this, seek help and try to add some sort of relaxation or de-stressing activities into your daily routine.
Age discrimination is a very real problem in Australian workplaces. It’s not always explicit or easy to identify, but it’s often there under the surface. A lot of people suffer poor mental health as a result, with depression, anxiety, addiction, excessive stress and low self-confidence increasingly common problems.
If you’re suffering or have suffered from age discrimination, be sure to speak to someone about it. Seek help from a medical professional if your long-term health is suffering as a result.