What is Anxiety
First, anxiety in senior parents is a common phenomenon. Secondly, our loved ones experience it because of age-related stress. In other words, anxiety disorder is not a common occurrence in the elderly. With this in mind, anxiety and its related symptoms keep haunting our aging parents. So, being alone due to death of a partner or divorce is the main reason for separation anxiety. In addition, separation anxiety also occurs when adult children begin to move out.
Separation anxiety in senior parents
It is important to realize, separation anxiety disorder makes life a mess for the elderly and other people. As a result, this kind of disorder often follows other psychiatric illness. Such as mood disorder, or another form of anxiety disorders. As a result, separation anxiety makes our senior parents more vulnerable. Also, this can develop into other types of mental disorders. Furthermore, separation anxiety makes our senior parents resort to alcohol and drugs. In this case, this will create more problems and make matters all the more difficult. In other words, it will hurt both our parents and their caregivers as well.
Symptoms of separation anxiety in our senior parents
When our senior parents feel the effects of separation anxiety. They exhibit a certain type of behavior. Which is pretty unnatural depending on their age. Here are the symptoms experienced by senior parents while suffering from separation anxiety:
Feeling distressed when separated from a special figure
Extreme worry about losing that particular figure
Trouble falling asleep when that particular figure is not there
Feeling anxious whenever thoughts of losing someone or separated from a particular someone
Physical complaints such as a headache or a stomach ache
Feeling of worthlessness
Psychology of separation anxiety
Another key point, separation anxiety refers to excessive fear or anxiety about separation from home or an attachment figure. A point often overlooked, the fear of losing any family member or special friend may give rise to separation anxiety. Not to mention, separation anxiety was only applied to people under the age of 18, now categorized as an anxiety disorder for all stages of life.
The psychologist did not recognize separation anxiety in adults. What one fails to understand is that, while separation anxiety in children is a concern. But the same form of anxiety in adults is even more serious. The reason being, adult brains are far more complex and advanced as compared to that of the children. Therefore, the disorder becomes much more serious. And also it is a consequence when left untreated. It becomes extremely necessary to recognize separation anxiety in adults. And take steps to manage the same.
Ways to deal with separation anxiety in our senior parents
Separation anxiety in older adults is a newly recognized phenomenon. And is an area that is yet to be fully understood and widely studied. There is very little study in this area. The following treatment options are to manage the condition:
Recognize the symptoms. This is very important to create an appropriate treatment plan.
Treating the anxiety symptoms. Treating the other anxiety symptoms may be extremely helpful in this case. While the symptoms of separation anxiety often mimic that of other anxiety disorders. Treating the same with medications is a good idea.
Support groups. Find out local support groups for adult separation anxiety and get in touch with them. These groups have members suffering from similar kind of anxiety.
The above-mentioned tips are some of the basic guidelines. This can help for managing separation anxiety in senior parents. Separation anxiety disorder in adults is still in its infancy stage. Much more work and research need to be done in this area before any strong guidelines can be given. The disorder has to be fully understood before any final conclusions can be made. So, before any concrete guidelines can be formulated. Caregivers need to follow the basic steps to help overcome separation anxiety.