Could Anxiety make You Age Faster?
Having some stress or fear is normal. Most everyone has it at one time or another. Many times it is not a problem but it will last longer in some people than in others. Knowing that it could affect your longevity is important because it will encourage you to want to do something about it for yourself or for a loved one.
Besides affecting your longevity, it is also affecting the level of happiness and satisfaction in life. Feeling anxious can show itself in several ways, such as being anxious about meeting new people, having to make transitions in life, financial worries, relationship issues, and more. Grief can also produce a lot of anxiety.
As people reach their senior years, it is more common for them to develop anxiety. It can progress from being a minor or temporary problem to a mental disorder that needs treatment. Once it becomes a larger problem, it can lead to many other undesirable problems. It may then progress to poorer physical health, cognitive issues, inability to cope and function, and a less desirable quality of life.
Besides the above issues, it has also been found that anxiety can accelerate the aging process. Although the process is not yet understood, it is known that people with anxiety disorders have shorter telomeres – the ends of chromosomes that predict longevity.
An anxiety disorder can be detected by the presence of several symptoms. They may include chest pain, a pounding heart, nausea, perspiration, dizziness, numbness, a feeling of being smothered, fear you are about to die, and a loss of control.
Another source of anxiety for some people is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is caused by experiencing a tragic event in the past. it could be from a violent crime, an accident, action during military service, and more.
PTSD events occur as a sudden and unexpected flashback that can terrorize the individual and may cause them to believe the event is reoccurring. The flashbacks can lead to problems with sleep, relationships, sex, and they may be afraid to be out in public for fear of a flashback at an inconvenient time and lead to great embarrassment.
Some foods may also be able to help, but they may only benefit minor anxiety. These foods can provide a variety of benefits, including a calming effect (green tea), and reducing inflammation. Omega-3 – from fish oil – can strengthen the mind and reduce mood disorders; vitamin D can also help with mood disorders, and potassium can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress.
When anxiety becomes too strong to control, various types of treatment are available. It does not have to shorten your life or ruin the quality of it. Treatment can be given in the form of therapy or medication or from a combination of them. Although the medications will not eliminate the problem, they can reduce the symptoms and make them more controllable. Medicare Part D may cover much of the cost.
A diagnosis for anxiety can be given quickly and easily. Some simple tests are available online. They can reveal whether or not further testing is needed. The sooner that treatment is given, the better the results will be and may even be reversed with treatment.