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Anxiety Disorders in Declining Years

Aug 7, 2016 by Comfort Keepers

Anxiety is a very natural part of our everyday life. We often feel anxious for various reasons and it is very much normal to feel anxious before you make any important decisions, or take a test or face an interview etc. It is even natural to feel anxious for your family and friends’ safety and security. But this anxiety has another side of it when it is no longer being dependent on substantial reason and turns into a disorder.

Anxiety disorders are one of the common issues that our loved seniors face in their declining years and many find it very difficult to fight against this tormenting anomaly. Although anxiety disorders are more common in younger adults than older adults reports suggests that currently 15% of our seniors are suffering from various anxiety disorders. So, spreading awareness about these disorders is very important. This blog is one of such awareness building effort from Comfort Keepers. Here we will discuss all about anxiety disorders- it’s types, symptoms, causes, risk factors and treatment options. 

Types and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

There are basically three types of anxiety disorders. They are discussed below:

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Everybody worries about health, money, family, relationships. It is very normal, But generalized anxiety disorder is the most common form of anxiety disorder when the individual suffering from it loses control over his or her level of anxiety. The individual becomes anxious about day to day general matters even when there aren’t any issues to be anxious about. In this case the person may find it very difficult to continue their normal life. And this may affect every sphere of their life severely. 

Social Phobia

This is a specific type of anxiety disorder when the person suffering form it remains very anxious about social interactions and things related to it. They become very much afraid of meeting other people in fear of humiliation, embarrassment etc. In spite of knowing that their fear is irrational they just simply can’t control. For persons suffering from anxiety disorders social life may even become almost impossible and they would generally find some simple tasks like going to work, meeting with friends, running errands etc. very difficult. 

Panic Disorder

This is a very unique kind of an anxiety disorder when the person suffering from it feels panicky without any reason and without any prior indication. While the panic attack happens the individual may feel terribly afraid, terrified and may feel like there’s an impending doom upon them. They even feel their heart pounding and they feel like loosing control. 

Causes and Risk Factors of Anxiety Disorders

There aren’t specific causes of anxiety disorders but genetics is the main risk factor. If it runs in the family than there are more chances of developing anxiety disorders. But generally it is not possible to determine why one person ends up developing it and others don’t. In older adults anxiety disorders also develop along with other problems like depression, heart diseases, diabetes and some other medical issues. To treat anxiety disorders successfully often it becomes necessary to treat these conditions beforehand. 

Treatment Options

Anxiety Disorders are treatable conditions. Presently various kinds of medication is available to treat anxiety disorders and psychotherapy is also being used in many cases. The most common types of medicines that are used to treat anxiety disorders are antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and beta-blockers. However, medication is not yet capable of removing anxiety disorders completely. They can only reduce the symptoms to a certain extent and stopping the doses generally leads to resuming the symptoms.  In some cases a combination of medication and psychotherapy proves to be very effective. Psychotherapy mostly includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Exposure based treatment, Group Therapy, and some other approaches. Above all it can be said that through effective medication and therapy anxiety disorders are very much treatable and normal lifestyle can be maintained after treatment. 

So, whenever you feel like one of your near and dear ones seems to be showing symptoms of any of the anxiety disorder types discussed above make no delay in consulting a specialist to take necessary curative measures as early as possible. For any additional help, care and support for our loved seniors do not hesitate to contact Comfort Keepers! 

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