Growing up and growing old is a fact of life. Growing old also isn’t promised, and if you’re lucky you can experience it. Some people don’t look forward to growing old and actually dread this stage of life. People who suffer from Gerascophobia have a fear of growing old. Being a little uneasy about growing old is completely natural. However, when this phobia grows to a point that it starts to inhibit and take over your life, it’s time to seek professional help to get your life back on track.
Symptoms of Gerascophobia
- Detachment from reality
- Anxiety attacks
- Excessive sweating
- Dry mouth
- Heart palpitations
- Inability to speak or think clearly
- Fear of dying
Common Facts about Gerascophobia
It’s natural for people to have a fear of the unknown. But when that fear takes over your life and you’re unable to function normally, there is cause for worry. Many people who suffer with the phobia have feelings of losing their appearance when they grow old. It is very common for people to fear the future. People have a strong sense of independence and many times, when someone gets older they lose that as they have an increased need to rely on others for help with daily functions.
As this fear increases, sufferers tend to withdrawal from everyday life and isolate themselves. This is an interesting fear as modern culture places so much emphasis on being young and beautiful. Society elevates being young to such an extent that growing old is something that is looked at as almost hideous. Therefore, it is completely realistic that someone could develop Gerascophobia and be completely justified, because of the pressures of society. If you suffer with this phobia, there is hope. And there is a way to overcome.
Treatment of Gerascophobia
As with many phobias, it is important to speak with your primary doctor and do your homework to find the best specialist for your fear. With therapy and counseling, those suffering with Gerascophobia have the ability to discuss where the fear came from and different thoughts leading to this fear. Treatment options for Gerascophobia include behavior therapy, anti-anxiety medication, exposure therapy, relaxation techniques, psychotherapy.
People fear they will not play an active role in society when they get older, and the therapist can point out that there is life after retirement. Keep an active lifestyle and you can still valuably contribute to society.