Seniors have been suffering in silence for years … Is it time to address this issue once and for all? 27



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You’d think as we got older we’d be more at peace and happier with ourselves and our lives. This isn’t always the case for everyone, though. Many older Australians develop anxiety as they age – a problem that went largely unnoticed until recently.

While we tend to find ourselves visiting the doctor’s office more and more as we age, we are often focused on physical ailments and forget about the impact these conditions – and other stress factors – can have on our mental state. In fact, until a few years ago, doctors believed that anxiety declined with age. The truth is though, older patients are less likely to report feelings of anxiety and more likely to focus on physical issues.

Experts are finally realising there is a link between ageing and anxiety and that anxiety is just as common in older people as it is in young. The big difference is the things we worry about as we age are completely different to the issues young people face. Many older people worry about a range of issues, covering everything from money and ageing to memory loss and illness.

The fact that seniors have had to suffer in silence for so long has some people wondering how we could have missed this. As seniors, we tend to push aside certain worries and stresses, instead opting to carry on and battle through like we always have. But doctors say this is one of the worst things we can do and emphasise the importance of addressing issues like this.

Knowing how to identify the signs of anxiety is one of the best ways to tackle the disorder. Experts recommend you think about what triggers feelings of anxiety in you. Is there anything happening in your life that concerns you? Do you have trouble sleeping because you are worrying about something? There are other signs, too. Chest pain and a racing heart can be symptoms of anxiety and it’s recommended you see your doctor if you’re experiencing these symptoms.

Have you ever suffered from anxiety? Do you think we should focus more on this issue?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. It’s good to see that anxiety is being acknowledged as an important health issue and we are talking about it. Having suffered PTSD after a car accident led to my acknowledging my underlying anxiety and I was helped to cope with it by an excellent psychologist.

    1 REPLY
  2. I do suffer from anxiety. I spent 3 months seeing a Psychologist and talk through my issues. I learnt coping techniques and I have been able to manage my anxiety drug free. I wish everyone well in their fight with this terrible condition.

  3. Adopt a kitten or two. I suffered panic attacks but now no more since I have two cats to share my life. Works wonders! My doctor agrees.

  4. Yes, I suffer greatly from it, and like Helena Davies, most mornings I wake up in anxiety. Most of my life have had many physical problems and other issues which have played a big part of me having it. Was actually hospitalised last year into an amazing hospital and was put under a fantastic Specialist. Was taught many coping strategies, plus the right medication which have all helped me greatly.

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