Senior Focus: How Fear, Worry Can Create Anxiety Disorder

The main types of anxiety disorder are generalized anxiety disorder (worrying too much), panic disorder (too much fear resulting in panic attacks) and phobias (excessive fears about certain things or situations). Additionally, older adults with clinical depression (sad mood or disinterest most of the day, nearly every day) often have anxiety. Research has shown that antidepressant medication, combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, can effectively manage anxiety in older adults. Investigators also are examining an approach called “mindfulness” (literally, being in the present, a skill practiced through meditation and yoga). Another important aspect is to treat depression, since many older adults suffering from anxiety also have problems with depression.

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