More than 27 percent of adults under the care of aging service providers experience symptoms of anxiety. This may not necessarily amount to the diagnosis of a disorder, but it can still impact their daily functioning. Here are 4 types of anxiety disorders that your loved ones may be experiencing. While they may seem overwhelming at first, the good news is that they can be managed through a variety of methods.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
This disorder may cause your loved one to be in a constant state of worry with little or no discernible cause. You may find that your loved one has difficulty relaxing, concentrating, or sleeping. They may also get startled easily. Symptoms can include:
- Chest pains
- Muscle tension and aches
- Feeling out of breath
- Hot flashes
- Needing frequent bathroom visits
These instant and intense panic attacks can render a person helpless. An aging adult experiencing a panic attack may feel like they are undergoing a stroke or heart attack due to its intense physical symptoms, which can include:
- Chest pain
- Cold sweats
- Physical weakness
These attacks can occur both while asleep or awake.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Many people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder experience varying levels of anxiety. This can be brought on by specific triggers. Those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder may often withdraw from socialization and internalize their pain.
Social Anxiety Disorder
This can occur when a person feels overwhelmed in a social situation such as talking on the phone, a group activity, or running errands. They may then wish to withdraw from social activities as a way to protect themselves.
Dealing with Anxiety Disorders
Medication, therapy, and having the support of loved ones are some excellent bulwarks against anxiety disorders.
When anxiety begins to interfere with daily life, it may be time to consider medication. Consult your loved one’s physician to get an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the medications available. Common prescriptions include antidepressants, beta-blockers, and benzodiazepines. It is important to monitor your loved one’s reactions to their medication and bring up any adverse effects or worries with their physician immediately.
Your loved one may opt for therapy in addition to medication, or choose to attempt it without medication first. There are various types of therapies available for anxiety disorders such as cognitive behavioral therapy and group therapy. It may take a while to find the right fit for your loved one, but keep at it.
- Support from Loved Ones
Family members help care for and advocate for their loved ones. If your loved one is making the transition from independent to assisted living, visiting them regularly can offer them a sense of familiarity and security. You can also work with your loved one’s retirement community to ensure that their care plan is personalized and enforced with consistency.