Anxiety is common among older adults as they often contract illnesses, encounter unfamiliar social interactions, and experience frightening events. Feeling anxious or nervous in these situations is a common emotion for people of all ages and a normal reaction to stress. But when one feels anxious often and the Anxiety is overwhelming and these feelings affect daily tasks, social life, and relationships, it may be an illness.
Many times, older adults with Anxiety disorders often go untreated for a number of reasons, including:
- Older adults often do not recognize or acknowledge their symptoms. Even if they do, they may be reluctant to discuss their feelings with their physicians.
- Some older adults may not seek treatment because they have suffered symptoms of Anxiety for most of their lives and believe the feelings are normal.
- Both patients and physicians may miss a diagnosis of Anxiety because of other medical conditions or prescription drug use, or particular situations that the patient is coping with.
Late-life Anxiety disorders are a “geriatric giant,” being twice as prevalent as dementia among older adults, and four to eight times more prevalent than major depressive disorders, causing significant impact on the quality of life, morbidity, and mortality of older adults. As Anxiety is treatable, it important to seek help as early as possible, as mental injury can be avoided.
IDCC’s geriatric therapies involve clinicians that are trained in treating older adults with Anxiety through various approaches. This is important Because mental health disorders like Anxiety, can impair a person’s physical health and ability to function. At the same time, it’s common for older adults to have other medical conditions that can limit the types of therapies used for treating Anxiety. Working with clinicians that have the ability to use various modes of therapy is key for a successful recovery.
Treatment for an Anxiety disorder can involve cognitive-behavioral therapy, stress reduction, coping skills, and/or medication. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, therapists help people change the thinking patterns that contribute to their fears and the ways they react to Anxiety-provoking situations. A therapist can teach new coping and relaxation skills and help resolve the problems that cause Anxiety. Therapists can also teach exposure techniques to desensitize the patient to the situations that trigger anxious feelings. Older adults can learn deep breathing and other relaxation techniques to help relieve the Anxiety. Many of IDCC’s trained doctors or therapists can determine the type of disorder or combination of disorders the patient is experiencing, and if any other conditions, such as grief, Depression, substance abuse, or dementia, are present as well.
Medications can include antidepressants, anti-Anxiety drugs or beta-blockers, which help relieve Anxiety by preventing the physical symptoms that go along with certain Anxiety disorders.