Anxiety in the Elderly


in the Elderly

Glenn Brynes, PhD, MD

While anxiety disorders occur

throughout the life-span, there are important differences in anxiety disorders

occurring in older patients. Interestingly, most anxiety disorders are somewhat

less common and often less severe in persons over 65 years of age; for example

social phobia, agoraphobia, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and

the more severe forms of obsessive compulsive disorder.

Nonetheless, about 20% of all

elderly persons report some symptoms of anxiety. In addition, anxiety symptoms

arising from physical problems or medication side effects are more frequent

among the elderly. For example breathing problems, irregular heart beats and

tremors can simulate symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety can occur along with other

psychiatric problems too; over half of elderly persons with severe depression

also meet the criteria for generalized anxiety disorder.

I am often struck by the fact

that many elderly people must deal with significant changes, with threats to

their independent functioning and with major losses at a time in their lives

when they are often least equipped to deal with them. It is not surprising that

this often leads to anxiety.

Fortunately, there are many good

treatments for anxiety disorders. These may include the use of relaxation

techniques, psychotherapy and medications. Frequently with effective treatment,

the person can then handle the challenges of their life.

Return to our

main Anxiety page

Northern County Psychiatric


Our practice has experience in the treatment of Attention

Deficit disorder

(ADD or ADHD), Depression, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive

Disorder, and other

psychiatric conditions. We are located in Northern Baltimore County and serve the

Baltimore County, Carroll County and Harford County areas in Maryland. Since we are near

the Pennsylvania border, we also serve the York County area.   Our

services include psychotherapy, psychiatric evaluations, medication management, and

family therapy. We treat children, adults, and the elderly.

We also maintain a list of informative web sites on mental health

topics, such as Attention Deficit Disorder, Parenting and Support Groups. We have links of

interest to the general public and links of interest to primary care physicians and other professionals.


Carol Watkins, MD

Glenn Brynes, Ph.D., M.D.

Northern County Psychiatric Associates
Niacin Pills to Pass a Drug Test

Lutherville and Monkton

Baltimore County, Maryland

Phone: 410-329-2028

Web Site

Copyright 2001