Join us for Still Rockin’: A Night of Music to Support Programming and Resources for Older Adults

Join us for Still Rockin’: A Night of Music to Support Programming and Resources for Older Adults

Anxiety happens to the best of us for a number of scattered reasons. Unfortunately, anxiety disorders can result in long-term worry or fear that disturbs your day-to-day life. Dealing with anxiety can be complicated because we don’t always know where the concern stems from. That being said, it is important to understand different types of anxiety so that you can enjoy a more positive outlook.

Studies have shown that anxiety disorders affect between three and fourteen percent of older adults in a year. More women experience anxiety disorders than men, and they tend to be less common in older adults than younger adults. At times, anxiety disorders can occur at the same time as other illnesses and are often paired with depression, heart disease, or diabetes.

There are several basic types of anxiety disorders that all respond to different treatments.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

A person suffering from GAD becomes very worried about things like health, money, or family problems. This type of anxiety typically does not stem from something specific. Instead, it’s typified by a general and persistent worry without just cause or a trigger. Someone suffering from GAD is usually very anxious throughout the day. If you cannot control your worrying on a daily basis, you may be suffering from GAD.

Anxiety can be a force to reckon with, but there are things you can do while struggling with GAD. Try to pinpoint what it is that has you worried. Most times, you will come to realize that there really is no specific reason for your concern. Furthermore, you can engage in activities such as deep breathing, meditation, and positive self-talk to help feel more relaxed.

Social Phobia

A person suffering from social phobia fears what others are thinking about them in a social setting. Social phobia can get in the way of going to work, running errands, attending parties, or meeting with friends.

If you find yourself feeling judged by others on a daily basis, try to challenge your negative thoughts. Most of the time, you will find that you think less of yourself than others do. Identify the damaging thoughts going through your head and force yourself to think differently. Another way to overcome social phobia is to face your fears. Despite your discomfort, try to throw yourself into social situations as a way to overcome your fear.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder can be described as sudden, unexplainable attacks of terror. Panic attacks result in a person feeling like they have lost all control over their body. They often occur randomly and can negatively affect a person’s heart rate.

The key to surviving panic attacks is all about breathing right. When suffering from a panic attack, make sure to breath deeply, no matter how hard or impossible it may seem. It’s also a good idea to confide in someone while a panic attack is occurring so that they can help calm you down or put you into a better mindset.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

People with OCD feel the need to check things repeatedly, have obsessive thoughts, or perform certain routines over and over. OCD can get in the way of daily life because of the stress and absorption it creates.

Those who suffer from OCD can engage in therapy to try and eliminate their symptoms. Another great way to fight OCD is to challenge your thoughts. When you find yourself obsessing over something or wanting to go through rituals, write down what it is you’re thinking so that you can better understand your thought process. It is effective to refocus your attention on things such as work, music, or the needs of others

NIH Senior Health

Melanie Marzillo
Research & Community Education

Chicago Skilled Nursing
Chicago Senior Living


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