A Look at Anxiety Disorders in Seniors

Care provider holding senior patient's hand

The aging process is a natural source of anxiety, particularly in a culture obsessed with youth. However, anxiety disorders in the aging process are not a normal part of getting older, and they should be met with specialized behavioral care. There are many different types of anxiety disorders in which fear and anxiety manifest themselves and make it difficult to get through the day. This article will offer some insight on how these conditions affect older adults so that you know the importance of seeking treatment.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

There is a wide spectrum of different anxiety disorders , but some of the most common include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and social phobia. Each of these conditions has different triggers for anxiety, though they all share common traits such as feelings of no control, persistent anxiousness, and an unrealistic sense of fear or paranoia.

Unique Concerns for Seniors

Because anxiety disorders are not as prevalent in older adults as they are in younger people, they may go undiagnosed or written off as normal aging stress. Seniors may also have more triggers for existing anxiety disorders such as loneliness, financial stress, and increased thoughts of mortality.

Dual Diagnoses in Older Adults

One of the ways that management of anxiety disorders in seniors has been improved is through dual diagnoses, which often occur with conditions including heart disease, depression, cancer, and diabetes. When multiple conditions are considered during treatment, patients tend to have more success in minimizing anxiety with reduced stress about their physical health.

At Southern Hills Hospital’s RISE Behavioral Health unit, adults 55 and over can find specialized inpatient and outpatient behavioral care with the help of physicians, nurses, and support staff who understand the unique psychological needs of older adults. You can explore our services and find mental health resources on our website or at (702) 880-2100. 

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