How older adults express anxiety

While there are several factors that can cause anxiety in older adults, it can be difficult to identify because they express anxiety in unique ways, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine.

Photo credit: Garry Knight, https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/.

Photo credit: Garry Knight, https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/.

According to Dr. Melinda Stanley, professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor, common types of anxiety disorders in adults include:

  • Generalized anxiety
  • Specific fears and phobias
  • Social phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Know the symptoms

Anxiety symptoms that older adults and their family members should watch for include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle aches and pains

Anxiety is not a normal part of aging and can be treated. The first important step is to have a physical exam.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a treatment option that teaches learning skills to manage anxiety. Skills that can help reduce anxiety include relaxation, changing thoughts, facing fears, learning how to solve problems and learning behaviors to improve sleep.

Read more

Read more posts related to aging and mental health.

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One thought on “How older adults express anxiety

  1. Thanks for sharing for our elders ! The problem is that most of the time they are ashamed about their problems and don’t want to disturb anybody by “sharing their old person’s problems”, as if they were feeling being insignificant because of their age and not being “active” for the society. This is very sad, but getting old makes people losing all their self esteem, which lead them to depression, isolation etc.

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