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Basking in Calmness: Enjoying Your Senior Years Without Anxiety


Basking in Calmness: Enjoying Your Senior Years Without Anxiety


Warren Buffet, Karl Lagerfeld, Parmeshwar Godrej, Diane Sawyer, and Rupert Murdoch – what do they have in common? They are seniors – 70 to 80+ years old – who continue to live their lives to the hilt. They are living testimonies that it is promising for seniors to have a full and enriching life, provided of course that they do not become weighed down by emotional conditions, such as anxiety.

Many people think that worrying comes naturally with age, so it may not be a primary concern. Consequently, anxiety is still commonly perceived as a rare condition among older adults. Thus, little attention is paid to senior anxiety in terms of research and treatment. Yet, new studies and statistics are showing otherwise.

If you are in your later years, it is important to know that anxiety isn’t healthy for people of any age. There is the tendency to ignore anxiety symptoms, instead of gaining a better understanding of them, so the condition can be treated before it worsens and interferes with your health and daily life.


Anxiety: Underestimated and Unrecognized

Mistaken as a usual part of the aging process and considered a rare condition among older adults, anxiety is often unrecognized, ignored and overlooked. Thus, there is little research done in this area of the health field. On the contrary, anxiety is quite prevalent. Recent studies reveal that it is, in fact, more common later in life and has come to be known as the “geriatric giant.” One reason, according to studies, is the common comorbidity (occurring at the same time) with many other physical and emotional conditions.

According to Web MD, “Anxiety may affect twice as many older adults as depression.” It is also estimated that about three to 14 percent of seniors meet the criteria for a diagnosable anxiety disorder. The figure is supported by other surveys/studies, such as a study conducted by the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, which revealed that “more than 27% of older adults under the care of an aging service provider have symptoms of anxiety…

The most prevalent type that affects about seven percent of seniors is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It is described by Mental Health America as “chronic, exaggerated worry about everyday routine life events and activities, lasting at least six months; almost always anticipating the worst, even though there is little reason to expect it. Accompanied by physical symptoms, such as fatigue, trembling, muscle tension, headache, or nausea.


The Diagnostic Challenges of Seniors

Anxiety is unrecognized and untreated in many seniors. One reason is the different presentations of geriatric anxiety from those exhibited by younger sufferers. The symptoms can also be nonspecific, meaning they can indicate another medical or emotional condition, such as obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease or hyperthyroidism. Alternatively, anxiety can be a symptom of another emotional condition. This means it may be necessary to have a full medical and emotional assessment for there to be a certain and conclusive diagnosis.

To be diagnosed with anxiety, it is required that the symptoms meet the criteria as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). One of the main factors is experiencing symptoms “on most days of the week for at least six months.” This can be difficult to pinpoint because symptoms, such as sleeplessness, poor focus, and fatigue, are common among older adults.

The diagnostic process can be comprehensive, but it is necessary. Living on your own and having financial limitations are additional challenges that may further prevent you from seeking help or getting diagnosed by a qualified professional. Know that there are numerous solutions to each of these concerns.


The Risk Factors

It is now more apparent that seniors can vulnerable to developing anxiety. Anxiety is associated with certain risk factors, though. One such factor is related to increasing physical challenges that may be present. Another obstacle may be carrying the weight of other health issues and the effects of the medication used. Especially at risk are seniors with diabetes, hypertension, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, poor blood flow and cardiac/vascular disease, and severe pulmonary conditions.

Gnawing fears and apprehensions can be compounded by loneliness, isolation, having lost loved ones, or uncertain financial security. Older adults who have special needs, disabilities, mobility issues, or who are dependent on others may also have an increased risk for anxiety, as well as depression. Seniors who have had depression and anxiety before can also be vulnerable.

Mental Health America details some of the risk factors that may contribute to senior anxiety:

  • Chronic medical conditions (especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], cardiovascular disease including arrhythmias and angina, thyroid disease, and diabetes)
  • Overall feelings of poor health
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Side effects of medications (i.e. steroids, antidepressants, stimulants, bronchodilators/inhalers, etc.)
  • Alcohol or prescription medication misuse or abuse
  • Physical limitations in daily activities
  • Stressful life events
  • Negative or difficult events in childhood
  • Excessive worry or preoccupation with physical health symptoms


Senior Anxiety is Treatable

Anxiety can lead to poor physical health and many comorbidities, which can impact your physical, emotional and behavioral functioning. This does not have to be the case. You can bask in calmness and good health as you enjoy this wonderful time, if you can stay emotionally healthy and free from unnecessary or excessive fears and worries.

It can be natural to worry at any age, and we can fret over both constructive things, as well as the not so productive parts of life. While it may be true that some risk factors can result in vulnerability to anxiety, you need not accept them as fact. The symptoms of anxiety can be improved. It can be treated, and you can do so in a healthy way. One way is by promptly seeking help from a qualified professional.

The help of professionals can make a difference in how well you can overcome excessive anxiety during your senior years. The first thing they can do to help is to provide you with a proper assessment of your symptoms. The detection rate can be low among people during this stage, as they seek less emotional health assistance. So, if you live on your own, it’s important to pay attention to symptoms you may have, to recognize them for proper evaluation.


Enjoying Life Regardless of Age

Staying healthy – both physically and emotionally – is something you can achieve, despite not being as active as you used to be. There are approaches and strategies that experts contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Fuquay-Varina, NC can assist you with, to attain greater emotional well-being, as you deserve. They can help you to accept what you cannot change anymore, stay positive and continue caring for yourself.

If you want to rediscover inner calmness and be able to live life free of anxiety in your senior years, it can be advantageous to meet your right-fit therapist. There is an independently contracted therapist with Carolina Counseling Services – Fuquay-Varina, NC, who can help you. Rather than shying away from the things you want to accomplish or continue struggling under the weight of strained relationships, missed opportunities and increased uncertainty, call CCS-Fuquay-Varina for help. This may be the turning point you’re looking for, to bask in calmness and fulfillment. Call today!


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Confidential / Private Sessions

Carolina Counseling Services – Fuquay-Varina, NC contracts with Licensed professional counselors/therapists/psychologists that provide a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Carolina Counseling Services – Fuquay-Varina, NC contracts with friendly, caring therapists who assist adult individuals, couples, families, and children with resolving issues and getting back to enjoying their lives. Whether you are non-military or military, it will always been a pleasure to work with you. CCS and the independently contracted therapists are able and happy to assist active duty dependents and retired military and their families.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Fuquay-Varina, NC

Counties: Wake County NC

Cities: Fuquay-Varina NC, Holly Springs NC, Angier NC, Duncan NC, Chalybeate Springs NC, Feltonville NC, Garner NC, Kennebec NC, Willow Springs NC, Cokesbury NC, Holland NC, Wilbon NC

We are located at:

Carolina Counseling Services - Fuquay-Varina, NC
602 E. Academy St. Ste. 103
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526

(919) 762-3185

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (919) 762-3185 (Fastest way to schedule)
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  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
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  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

View the independently contracted, Caring, Licensed Therapists. Who is the Best Fit for you?

  • Kimberly Tran, PhD, HSP-P

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Individuals, Couples, anxiety, PTSD, trauma (adults who have experienced childhood physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse, domestic violence, Wounded Warrior) grief and loss, relationship issues, addiction, recovery, co-occuring substance abuse, couple/marital concerns, personality disorders, mood disorders.
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare (to include Tricare Prime), Medicare and cash
    Location: Fuquay-Varina, NC

  • Laura Coyle, PhD, HSP-P

    Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Adolescents, Couples, Individuals, Family, anxiety, persistent sadness and depression, mood swings, responses to trauma, grief, behavioral concerns, autism spectrum disorders, attention difficulties, excessive procrastination, challenges related to physical health concerns, relational conflicts, problematic alcohol or drug use, problematic eating patterns, communication difficulties, Affirmative and Multiculturally Competent Counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare (to include Tricare Prime) Medicare and cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fuquay-Varina, NC

  • Teshia Utley-McKoy, MS, LPC

    Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Adolescents, Individuals, Marriage and Couples counseling, Anxiety issues, Parent-child relational issues, Spirituality, Behavior Management, ADHD, ODD, PTSD Trauma, Self-Esteem, Depression, Grief and Loss, Adjustment and Transitional Issues, Coping Skills, Christian counseling.
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare (to include Tricare Prime), HSA/FSA and cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fuquay-Varina, NC

  • Diane M. McKnight, MA, MSW, LMSW, LCSW, ATR

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples, Trauma/PTSD, Adult Survivors of Abuse, Grief and Loss, LGBTQ Issues, Anxiety, Depression, Couples/Relationship Issues, Marriage Therapy, Major Life Transitions/Adjustments, Spirituality Issues
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, and cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fuquay-Varina, NC

  • Shanna N. Reyes, MS, LPC, LCAS-A

    Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Adolescents, Adults, Couples and Families, Immigrants/Refugees/Disaster Survivors, PTSD, Trauma, Grief and Loss, Self-Esteem issues, Coping skills, Behavioral Modification, Parenting interventions, Anxiety, Depression, Adjustment issues, Bipolar and other Mood Disorders, LGBTQIA, Substance abuse, EMDR
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare Prime/Select, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fuquay-Varina, NC

  • Rachel Macko, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Adults, Individuals, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, OCD, Depression, Mood Disorders, PTSD, Trauma, Acute Stress Disorder, Chronic Pain/Health Concerns, Grief and Loss, Adjustment/Transitional Issues, Coping issues, Sleep Issues, Communication issues. Mindfulness Training and EMDR are available.
    Insurance: BCBS, Medicare, Tricare Prime/Select, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fuquay-Varina, NC
  • Sherry Horowitz, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 10+) Children, Adolescents/Teens, Adults, Individuals, Couples, Families, Communication Skills, Mood Disorders, Adjustment Disorders, ADHD, Couples/Marriage Counseling, Grief and Loss, Parenting Issues, Panic Attacks, Issues Related to Military Families, Self-Esteem, Sleep Issues, Positive Behavior Modification, Eating Disorders, Anxiety or Fears, Depression, Self-esteem, Body Image Issues, Grief and loss, ADHD in girls and women
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, HSA/FSA and cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fuquay-Varina, NC