Late-life anxiety in the elderly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Anxiety as a separate disorder was introduced into the DSM manuals only in 1980, but is now widely recognized as a common mood disorder in the elderly, and in fact its prevalence, reported to range between 10% to 20% may actually be greater than for depressive illness. On the other hand, its assessment and diagnosis is problematic, and therefore, frequently often under-recognized. Conversely, though the elderly may not actually meet the full requirements for anxiety disorder, they still experience enough symptoms which can disrupt their daily lives. The problem is complicated by the fact that elderly persons have a high incidence of somatic symptoms accompanying their physical illnesses, and also that anxiety in the elderly presents with somatic complaints, then their complaints may be interpreted as being part of some physical illness rather than actually been related to their anxiety, somewhat similar to the problem in diagnosing depression in the elderly. Similarly to depression, several screening instruments were developed and validated for the detection of anxiety, but rarely specifically for the elderly. This chapter will describe and define late-life anxiety, the means of diagnosing the disorder relating especially to the difficulties in the elderly, and finally its interaction with depression.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychiatric Research Trends
Subtitle of host publicationDreams and Geriatric Psychiatry
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781607417606
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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