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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
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Why do I get more anxious over little things, as I age I

Resolved Question:

Why do I get more anxious over little things, as I age? I am 77 and never used to let worry interupt my sleep, nor life.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for contacting JustAnswer.


I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing. Anxiety can develop at any time, often due to an increase in stressors. You are not alone. Millions of people (an estimated 15% of the population) suffer from devastating and constant anxiety that severely affects their lives, sometimes resulting in living in highly restricted ways. These people experience panic attacks, phobias, extreme shyness, obsessive thoughts, and compulsive behaviors. The feeling of anxiety is a constant and dominating force that disrupts their lives. Some become prisoners in their own homes, unable to leave the home, work, drive, or visit the grocery store. For these people, anxiety is much more than just an occasional wave of apprehension.


Common symptoms of panic include:


  • Racing or pounding heart
  • Trembling
  • Sweaty palms
  • Feelings of terror
  • Chest pains/heaviness in chest
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of going crazy
  • Fear of losing control
  • Feeling unable to catch breath
  • Tingling hands, feet, legs, arms


Panic attacks can be very frightening. Many people end up in the emergency room due to thinking they are having a heart attack when it is really a panic attack.


One of the first things she can do to help with how she is feeling is to begin eating healthy and regular meals, use diaphramatic (belly) breathing, and exercise which is also very helpful in improving mood. Writing can be very helpful to put things into balance - whether it is in the form of just writing whatever comes to mind, or listing the issues and small steps to work on them. Seeking support from caring people in your life can also be helpful.


Panic and anxiety generally respond well to therapy and medication. Many people see at least some improvement in symptoms in the first few weeks. Your doctor may also be willing to prescribe a medication such as Xanax for the first few weeks until the other medication begins to work. This is not a good long term medication since it is addictive if used over time, but could help to get you through the next few weeks.


In addition, therapy could be very helpful to give you tools to deal with your anxiety. If you are not able to locate a therapist nearby, you could try which offers a worldwide therapy service to those who are unable to access professionals locally or who prefer online help.


I hope this answer is helpful. Please let me know if I can clarify further.

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