Gerascophobia An exaggerated or irrational fear of growing old
It happens to us all and most of us certainly want it to, we all get older every moment every second, we are continuously getting older. For most this is a normal part of life and we do not give it a second thought. However, there are those who have a pathological and intense fear of growing old, these people are said to suffer with Gerascophobia.
In many respects a person can understand how this fear has come about. Younger people see the old and elderly as frail and not as valued in society as the young and fit. Additionally, there are more physical and health problems associated with being older, arthritis, heart problems, cancer and of course dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are all issues covered in the media on nearly a daily basis. If you include the charitable advertising for organisations working with these health issues, there is not a day that goes by where we are not given a glimpse into our ageing future. Not forgetting the fear of not working and not having enough money to live can cause people to really fear getting older.
As with most phobia, psychotherapy can help. In addition to the more traditional integrative approach, client’s may be encouraged to go for health and financial advice in order to help them plan for the time they reach the autumn of their years.