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.