Having an Anxiety and Aging - What to Know

When it comes to the elderly, this age group is growing faster than any other demographic. This means that there needs to be information and assistance made more readily available to this demographic of people. This includes information and assistance for elderly mental health. Certainly, growing older has its advantages – retirement, spending more time with family and loved ones, and taking advantage of the financial gains of a lifetime in the workforce. But, growing older also has its disadvantages – mainly, declining health. But, focusing just on the physical, and biological health of the elderly isn’t the only thing that should be gaining attention. It’s also important to think about mental health issues for elderly individuals, like considering whether or not mental health issues and symptoms worsen over age. Specifically anxiety disorder and aging. Unfortunately, anxiety disorders don’t get better with age. So, people who are getting older and are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder should consider how they should approach anxiety disorder needs with age.

Reasons Why Elderly Individuals May Develop Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders may or may not worsen over time and with age. But, they can also develop as a result of getting older as well. Some of the things that can lead to the development of anxiety disorders in older adults can include:

  • loss of independence
  • development of physical illness or experiencing a life-altering injury
  • loss of loved ones like spouses or children
  • experiencing traumatic events
  • being lonely and/or being isolated from others
  • living with chronic pain due to developed physical illness or injury
  • having fears about getting older the process of aging
  • neurological issues as the result of aging and the development of neurological conditions (dementia, Parkinson’s disease, etc.)

It can be beneficial to identify anxiety disorders that aging individuals develop. This way, these individuals can get the help they need as soon as possible. And, symptoms don’t worsen over time without the help of medical intervention.

Are Anxiety Disorders Rare in Aging Individuals?

It can be helpful to know that, for older individuals, it’s not uncommon to have an anxiety disorder. According to statistics, anxiety disorders are more prevalent in people who are older than 65 than those who are not. Only 7.6% of people who are younger than 65 years old report having an anxiety disorder diagnosis whereas 12.7% of people who are older than 65 report having an anxiety disorder diagnosis. So, if you’re older than 65 and are presenting signs of an anxiety disorder, know that you are not alone. And, that there are available resources that can help.

Some Anxiety Disorder Symptoms of Aging Individuals

There are some symptoms of anxiety disorders that can help older individuals identify if they may be living with one of these disorders. Symptoms may differ from person to person, but experiencing some of the symptoms can help a person determine if they may need to reach out for help. Some of the symptoms of anxiety disorders that can help a person to determine if they may be living with an anxiety disorder may include:

  • sleep issues
  • issues with memory
  • worrying even if there isn’t anything to worry about
  • retreating from loved ones
  • avoiding situations and hobbies that were once enjoyed
  • muscle tensions
  • shaking and trembling
  • chest pains
  • having nightmares
  • intrusive thoughts
  • being continuously panicked
  • feelings of doom and despair

Getting Help for Anxiety Disorders for Older Adults

People with anxiety disorders can get help through professional treatment. Therapy, treatments, and medications are all proved successful in helping to reduce the severity and frequency of anxiety disorder symptoms, even for older individuals. If you’re looking for mental health help for an aging individual in Boca Raton, consider Southcoast Psychiatric Services.