Aging is a lifelong process and something that everyone must experience. The average life expectancy for someone living in the United States is about 78 years old. Growing older is a problem for someone with gerascophobia.
Gerascophobia is a persistent and abnormal fear of aging. A person with a mental health phobia experiences undue anxiety while being in good health. Here are three ways to treat someone with gerascophobia.
Go Through Exposure Therapy
Exposure therapy is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It requires you to put yourself into stressful situations involving your phobia. This therapy has five steps, which are: evaluation, feedback, develop fear hierarchy, exposure, and building.
Evaluation involves describing your fear to a therapist and recalling anything from your past that contributes to this disorder. Feedback is when your therapist gives an evaluation of your phobia and suggests a treatment plan. The third phase involves constructing a fear hierarchy. A fear hierarchy is a list of scenarios about your fear. Each item is more intense than the last one. This list is created by your therapist.
Exposure consists of you confronting the items on your list. You should start with the least frightening scenario. As you are doing the different scenarios, you should realize that your anxiety occurs within the first few minutes of facing your fear. The building phase allows you to get comfortable at each step. As you conquer each step, you can move on to an even more difficult scenarios. The point of exposure therapy is to help you overcome gerascophobia with new learning.
Try Anxiety Medication
Medication is one of the ways to treat gerascophobia. A variety of medications are used to treat this mental disorder, such as anti-anxiety drugs, beta blockers, and antidepressants. Anxiety medication is a temporary cure. After you stop taking the medication, all of your symptoms come back.
Talk To A Behavior Therapist
Behavior therapy involves talking one on one with therapist who is trained in gerascophobia. You are taught relaxation techniques to help counter triggers of anxiety bought on by exposure. Your therapist is going to expose you to things about aging. The exposure is increased with each session.
A therapy session may start with imagining a picture of an elderly couple. It would increase to looking at pictures of elderly couples. The goal is to desensitize your fear of growing older.
You should understand that you become wiser as you age. Getting older is a good thing because you can share your wisdom with loved ones. It becomes a problem when you obsess over looks and health. If you have gerascophobia, then it is time to schedule an appointment with a mental health therapist.
For mental health counseling, contact an organization such as T M S Center of Nebraska LLC.