Web Site Offers Info on Anxiety Disorders in Seniors

To help older adults deal with anxiety disorders, the National Institutes of Health has added a new topic to its seniors-focused Web site, NIHSeniorHealth.gov.

Visitors to the new topic page can learn about the risk factors, symptoms, and treatments for generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and specific phobias such as fear of flying or fear of public speaking. Anxiety disorders can severely affect a person’s life, and they are often overlooked in older adults.

“Conditions that commonly occur with age, such as depression, heart disease, and diabetes, may have symptoms that mimic or mask anxiety symptoms, making diagnosis in older adults difficult,” said Thomas R. Insel, MD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, which developed the anxiety disorders topic for NIHSeniorHealth. “Often, these health conditions will need to be addressed before a person will respond to treatment for an anxiety disorder.”

NIHSeniorHealth.gov is a joint effort of the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine.

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