Until a few years ago, anxiety disorders were believed to decline with age. That’s because older patients are less likely to report psychiatric symptoms and more likely to emphasize their physical complaints.
But experts now recognize that aging and anxiety are not mutually exclusive: Anxiety is as common among the old as among the young. In fact, many older adults with an anxiety disorder had one when they were younger.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common anxiety disorder among older adults, though anxiety disorders in this population are frequently associated with traumatic events such as a fall or acute illness.