Young and old alike frequently experience feelings of worry or anxiety. Anxiety disorders are diagnosed when such symptoms become excessive and disruptive to everyday life. Some of the warning signs to look out for are extreme shifts in mood and crippling anxiety.
Despite this, anxiety disorders are frequently misdiagnosed. In older women anxiety is more common than depression or brain illnesses.
There is a high prevalence of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) among old women. Then there’s OCD, panic attacks, phobias, and PTSD are the most often recognized forms of anxiety disorder.
Growing old is difficult for everyone, but it may be especially difficult for women. This article offers an overview of anxiety problems in women as they age.
Types & Symptoms
Here are the types & symptoms of anxiety disorders found in older women:
Anxiety symptoms tend to be common among all age groups. The signs of several conditions may vary. However, the following are often present in those who suffer from anxiety disorders:
- shakiness and anxious feeling
- breathing difficulties
- indigestion and an uncomfortable tightness in the chest
- disorientation and headaches
- vision impairments and other eye issues
- discomfort brought on by stiffness, tightness, and exhaustion
- difficult, if not impossible, to reason with
- lack of concentration
- mood swings
- avoidance of everything that could bring on an anxious reaction, including persons, places, and ideas.
- changes in body composition, hunger, or eating routines
- inability to sleep
- unwillingness to leave the house, retreat, and isolation
- both compulsive and obsessive thoughts and actions
Here are the types of anxiety disorders in women:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) causes persistent concern, difficulty concentrating, and a general sense of helplessness. Women over 65 who suffer from GAD have trouble sleeping and focusing. They are also exhausted, short-tempered, and queasy. They may have to use the restroom frequently, too. Additional symptoms of GAD include spontaneous sweating and shortness of breath.
- Panic Disorder
When an older woman has a panic disorder, they might receive abrupt emotions of dread. This emotion is typically accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, chest discomfort, weakness, nausea, and feeling faint or disoriented.
Panic attacks occur sporadically and are not always provoked by anything. They often reach their pinnacle within 10 minutes and then decline. Older women with this disorder may feel like they’re suffering a heart attack or stroke and not want to be left alone.
This kind of anxiety fills women with an acute fear of a place, item, or event. Frequently, these anxieties are unjustified and stem from items that represent no genuine danger.
Common sorts of phobias among older women are dread of death, calamity, and threat to the family. They may have lightheadedness, chest discomfort, shortness of breath or irregular heartbeat as a result of confronting these worries.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD generates persistent and unsettling thoughts. Older women with this problem will feel that they can only achieve control by executing repetitive behaviours. Having obsessive anxiety that someone you care about may be hurt is another symptom of OCD.
- Post Traumatic Disorder (PTSD)
The painful incident causes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The trauma’s effects may not become apparent for a long time, maybe months or even years, after the incident. When an old lady feels powerless due to a new disability, they may relive a painful experience from their past.
Conditions are more likely to manifest in a person who has been exposed to certain risk factors. A woman’s vulnerability to anxiety is increased by several variables, some of which are:
- Anxiety has a family history
- Worse system of support
- Trauma from past abuse, whether physical, mental, or sexual
- Avoiding uncomfortable feelings rather than working through them (this may look like staying inside for fear of having a panic attack)
You can try several different methods for the prevention of anxiety. To find the methods that work best for you, you may need to experiment for a while. Remember, though, that you should get help from a professional if you find that your anxiety is too much to handle on your own.
- Take Deep Breaths
Breathing becomes more rapid and shallow when anxiety is present. Try slowing your breath rate on purpose. Try counting to three as you take a deep breath in and again as you let it out.
- Focus on the Present Moment
When you’re anxious, your mind may wander to a horrible, hypothetical future. Focus on the here and now and see if you can ground yourself.
- Maintaining a Healthy Way of Life
Reducing stress and enhancing mental health may be accomplished by regular exercise, a balanced diet, and time spent in nature. Moreover, contact with loved ones, participation in enjoyable activities, and a focus on one’s interests and needs.
- Muscle Relaxation and Progressive Stretching.
Go somewhere peaceful. With your eyes closed, systematically tighten and release all of your muscles, working your way up from your toes. Maintain this position for three seconds, and then rapidly relax. Anxiety is typically accompanied by tense muscles, but this can help ease those symptoms.
- Acquire an Excellent Grasp of Your Anxieties
Take note of the peak and low times. Learn to see patterns and schedule your day accordingly to take charge of your anxiety.
- Challenge Your Inner Voice
Your mood is a direct result of your thoughts. Anxiety might cause you to misjudge the level of risk involved and your level of preparedness to deal with it. If you find yourself worrying about a certain issue, it may help to consider other possible outcomes before you assume the worst. Investigate the evidence for and against your claim.
Numerous specialists and organisations provide resources for learning about and getting assistance for anxiety disorders.
Effective treatment helps you to manage your anxiety rather than having your life controlled by it. The treatment you receive will be tailored to the specific form of anxiety you’re dealing with.
If your symptoms are minor, your doctor may recommend making some modifications to your lifestyle, such as getting more exercise or sleeping more.
Even in the absence of depression symptoms, some antidepressants can be useful for anxiety management.
According to studies, serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine all change the brains of patients with anxiety disorders. Drugs used to treat anxiety work by restoring normal levels of a chemical messenger between neurons in the brain.
Moreover, you can buy online anxiety medication is also quite easy. However, you must make sure to get a prescription from a doctor before taking any medicines.
- Psychological Treatment
Anxiety and unwarranted concerns can be better managed with the aid of psychological treatments (sometimes called talking therapies).
Several different forms of psychotherapy may be used to treat anxiety, and these therapies can be administered in a variety of ways. While some people thrive in a group setting, others do better when working one-on-one with an expert.
Talk to your doctor if you feel that your anxiety and stress are out of your control. See your doctor for assistance in screening and treating your anxiety issue.
Moreover, if your doctor thinks you may benefit from seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist, they will make the appropriate referral. Your physician may give modest doses of drugs for seniors to determine the optimal dosage for your body.
When anxiety symptoms are severe, it is recommended to seek professional help from a psychologist or doctor.