top of page
  • starpointcenter

Causes of Anxiety Disorders in Seniors At Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL.

There is not necessarily one single “thing” that 100% causes anxiety in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, for everyone. People have different protective factors, strengths, coping skills and support systems that can help to navigate stressors. What causes deep anxiety for one person, may be viewed as a minor bump in the road for another. When somebody has an anxiety disorder, usually there are a number of factors in play. The more risk factors present, the higher the likelihood a person will suffer from anxiety and not be able to manage stressors efficiently or effectively.

Risk factors that can contribute to anxiety for seniors:

• Personal and/or family history of anxiety disorders • Bereavement, loss of a loved one (including spouses, children and pets) • Trauma or abuse • Medical diagnoses/issues (especially Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disorders) • Chronic illness/ Chronic pain (About 90 percent of elderly people suffer from at least one chronic illness) • Financial insecurity • Loss of vision, hearing and/or mobility • Incontinence (urine and/or bowel) • Medication mismanagement • Alcohol and/or substance abuse • Loss of driver’s license, transportation, sense of freedom • Feeling forced to move out of their homes into congregate living • History of falls/ Fear of future falls • Social isolation

Unfortunately, a variety of negative life events and losses can happen at the same time a senior is experiencing physical and cognitive decline. All these elements combined can lead to truly devastating results, including death.

Types of Elderly Anxiety Disorders

There are different types of anxiety disorders in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL. Each has distinct symptoms.

Brief description of Anxiety disorders in seniors:

• Specific phobias – Powerful, irrational fears of non-threatening places, people, events or things • Social anxiety – Overwhelming self-consciousness and worry around other people • Generalized anxiety disorder – Constant worry that doesn’t seem to have a particular reason or trigger. This is the most common anxiety disorder in the elderly population. • Post-traumatic stress disorder – Difficulty coping for a long-term period after a life-threatening, terrifying or intensely emotional event. • Panic attacks – Sudden and forceful fear and dread • Obsessive-compulsive disorder – Intrusive thoughts that cause anxiety and make people feel as though they have to complete a certain activity or ritual to ease the worry

Some common phobias for older adults are fear of death, worry that family members will be hurt and medical or dental procedures. Social anxiety in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, may occur because seniors are embarrassed about their memory loss or appearance. People with generalized anxiety disorder may worry about illness, finances and possible disasters. Post-traumatic stress disorder can develop from recent distressing incidents or past traumas that are re-triggered due to disability or another experience.

Seniors May Not Report Elderly Anxiety Disorders

Seniors may not seek treatment for their mental health struggles. They may worry that there is a stigma associated with psychological disorders. They may think it would be showing weakness to ask for help. They might also believe that it’s normal to experience worry as they age. If they’ve dealt with anxiety in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, throughout their lives, seniors may believe that their suffering is normal and nothing can help.

Family members may not notice or be aware of anxiety disorders in seniors, either. Many loved ones see their older relatives becoming more irritable and worried, but they chalk it up to age, dementia or part of a medical issue.

What are the Treatment Options?

The good news is that there are treatment options for anxiety disorders. Treatment can involve medication, therapy, stress reduction, coping skills, and family or other social support. Medication can often be helpful but does not “cure” anxiety disorders outright. Medications are prescribed by physicians and/or psychiatrists. Whenever medication is prescribed, the professional standard is for the client/patient to also have therapy/psychotherapy during the same period. The Licensed therapists at Star Point Counseling Center in Tampa FL, and Brandon FL, do not prescribe medication but we do work with clients who have been prescribed medication by their own physicians.


0 views0 comments


bottom of page