Anxiety Disorders Among The Elderly
Anxiety is among the most common elderly mental disorders. It is a mood disorder that often comes out in tandem with depression. This mental disorder in senior citizens is often linked to various risk factors. Some of these risk factors include:
- Stressful events like serious health condition, death of a loved one, or any other life-altering events
- Traumatic childhood
- Various side effects resulting from certain medications
- Misuse of prescription drugs, street drugs, or alcohol
- General poor health
- Physical impairments resulting in avoidance of daily functioning
- Sleeping problems
- Thyroid disease, diabetes among other some cardiovascular diseases and related chronic conditions
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Preventing anxiety disorders
There are so many things that seniors can do to prevent anxiety. To keep anxiety disorder at bay, you should avoid stress, seek early treatment for cardiovascular diseases, maintain good health, avoid drug abuse, and find a counselor to help you go through a tragic loss and to address any traumatic experience that you had encountered earlier.
Types of anxiety disorders
There are a number of various types of anxiety disorders. Let’s look at some of the most common ones.
- Generalized anxiety disorder
This is the most common type of anxiety disorder. Its effects include persistent fear or worry, which can worsen progressively with time. Its symptoms usually interfere with day-to-day activities, job performance and socialization. Senior citizens with generalized anxiety disorder are often reclusive and withdrawn.
- Panic disorder
Panic disorder has become very common among seniors. It is usually characterized by periods of intense, sudden fear, which is sometimes accompanied by rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, experiencing feelings of doom, sweating, shaking, or heart pounding or palpitations.
Phobia is an excessive, paralyzing fear of something which typically poses no threat. As you age, you might start having phobia for things you used to enjoy. Phobias can cause someone to avoid some situations or things due to unfounded fears. For instance, an individual can develop fear of driving, flying, germs, social situations, etc.
- Social Anxiety Disorder
This is a social phobia that causes someone to fear being in some social situations especially where they suspect they might be rejected, embarrassed, judged, or offensive to other people.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a form of anxiety disorder that often manifests following some traumatic event that literally threatens the survival or safety of an individual, thereby affecting his or her general quality of life. Senior individuals who get involved in tragic accidents or who develop long-term illness due to falls usually develop this type of anxiety disorder.
All types of anxiety disorders are treatable. Just cooperate with your doctor and therapist and you will be fine.