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Clinical Anxiety in Elderly Persons

"This is a critical observation because without further investigation of supposed insomnia, many patients are treated unnecessarily with hypnotic medications to delay their time of awakening. When the longer half-life benzodiazepines are used for this purpose, profound carry-over cognitive impairment can occur during the day. These patients may then be diagnosed as having dementia and be treated inappropriately with more medications that add to their cognitive impairment" (Reynolds, 1995, p. S14).

Depression in older adults is often either induced or exacerbated by problems related to the social and physical isolation stemming from life cycle changes (Gannon, Vaux, Rhodes, & Luchetta, 1992, pp. 288-301). The capacity to recognize and develop strategies to deal with such life cycle changes before depression develops is required. Among the many reasons why the suicide rate is so high for the elderly is the isolation and loneliness that leads to despair, also boredom, depression, uselessness, loss of loved ones, economic hardships, general feeling of unhappiness with life, and persons who suffer from a psychological affliction, from loss of purpose and a sense of meaningfulness after retirement and separation from family and friends (Stevens, 1993, pp. 313-325). Additionally, suicide rates among the elderly may be higher than for other age groups because of a widening social acceptance of the concept of the rational suicide for those individuals in the advanced stages of terminal illnesses, with serious and incurable physical illnesses, and those experiencing debilitating pain, with no recourse for relief which would leave then as alert and viable human beings. In this context, many elderly persons have indicated clearly that they no longer want to be burdens, and want to end their lives with dignity and grace while they are still aware and alert human beings.

The most effective coping strategy for older adults in combating d...

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Clinical Anxiety in Elderly Persons. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:40, September 20, 2017, from
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