Every person thought about his own old age at least once. For most people, such reflections can cause a little excitement, a brief sadness or melancholy. The deterioration of mood in such thoughts is quite natural, since old age is the final straight of the whole life lived. However, for some people, the thought of aging causes a real panic fear, which they are not able to fight on their own.
Manifestation of the Fear
As a rule, a person who has a panic fear of old age avoids any references to this topic in every possible way. He is nervous when he is told about older people, does not watch movies and TV shows, where at least the issues of aging are affected. In adulthood, such people usually do not like celebrate their birthdays and prefer not to talk about how old they are. Talk about the swiftness of time is also ignored. From time to time, person feels squeezing sensations in neck, shortness of breath and panic attack. Often, a person who is afraid of this age period begins to hate older people because they find themselves in public places because any reminder of old age provokes disturbing thoughts. In the advanced stage of the possible manifestation of aggression. Sometimes, in order not to see old people, such individuals generally refuse to go out. Preferring to observe only young people in their surroundings, they ignore meetings with their grandparents, as well as other elderly relatives. A person who does not recognize old age can spend all the money on plastic surgery or anti-aging procedures, wear out-of-date clothing and constantly look for acquaintances with much younger people.
Causes and Treatment
There are several psychological reasons for the development of fear of old age:
- Loss of beauty and attractiveness. It is known that in old age a person’s appearance changes: the skin becomes flabby, wrinkles appear, pigment spots and so on. Many of those who are afraid of growing old are too obsessed with their appearance. Such behavior is often a defensive reaction, arising from a sense of inner emptiness and the inability to express oneself as a self-sufficient person. The loss of beauty and youth is for these individuals the beginning of a meaningless existence.
- Helplessness and loss of health. Old age, as a rule, is accompanied by various diseases, a decrease in working capacity, and a decline in physical strength. Many people are afraid to face weakness, to become a burden for loved ones.
- Fear of loneliness. Often together with old age, loneliness comes to a person. For a normal life, any individual needs communication, but old people are often forgotten and unnecessary. It is for this reason that many people have a fear of aging.
- Fear of death. Sometimes the cause of fear of old age is associated with the fear of dying, because in old age people are most vulnerable and close to death.
Prerequisites for fear of aging can be formed in childhood. Public conversations, viewing of individual films or TV shows, watching how other family members relate to old people can affect the attitude of the child towards old age. Even an accidentally heard story of how an elderly person is helpless and lonely can be deposited deep in the subconscious and subsequently cause rejection of old age. The presence of a child at a funeral or a seen case of the death of an old person can also trigger the development of the fear of aging.
If the severity of fear is not too high, you can try to fix the problem yourself. For this, a relaxation method is suitable, which includes breathing exercises, meditative techniques and neuromuscular relaxation, as well as autogenic training. If you faced with unsuccessful attempts to cope with the problem yourself, you should seek the help of a specialist. To eliminate the physiological symptoms, the patient is prescribed sedatives or antidepressants. Drugs relieve nervous tension, reduce anxiety and for a while a person forgets about his fears. To work out the causes of fear, you must visit a psychologist or psychotherapist. The most effective psychological methods of dealing with this problem are gestalt therapy, stepwise desensitization and cognitive-behavioral techniques.
First of all, a person experiencing the fear of aging, it is necessary to realize that this process is inevitable, and each age stage has certain advantages. Old age, above all, should be considered as the period of the greatest wisdom, invaluable experience and joy of communicating with grandchildren. People cannot say with certainty how they would feel in a few years. Perhaps their worldview would change completely, they will acquire other values, find new friends and set goals that will become the true meaning of life.