If you have an anxiety disorder, you likely feel fearful, worrying about problems in a way that’s disproportionate to the actual situation at hand. Anxiety is twice as prevalent as dementia in older adults, and four to eight times as prevalent as major depression. Because anxiety can cause a significant negative impact on the quality of life, it’s important to address this condition, but that can present unique challenges for older adults. Here’s why.
According to an in-depth report originally published in Geriatrics and Aging, titled The Silent Geriatric Giant: Anxiety Disorders in Late Life, anxiety disorders in older adults can be difficult to diagnose. In fact, until recently, it was believed that the incidence of anxiety disorders went down as people aged, but it’s been determined that this is because older adults report fewer psychiatric symptoms, focusing instead on physical ones. In reality, anxiety is now believed to be as common in older adults as in younger ones.