For several reasons, older adults may find they have greater difficulty managing stress than they once did. For one, aging bodies may have a more difficult time recovering from stress due to the fact that their heart and lungs are operating at reduced capacity. In addition, older adults often find they cannot get an uninterrupted night’s rest that helps them overcome stress. They may also find they face stress-inducing issues that are more complicated than the ones they faced as younger adults. All of these (and other) factors may combine to produce symptoms that mimic memory loss or dementia, including changes in appetite, headaches, anxiety, irritability, and trouble concentrating. At this point, therapy may prove helpful.
Too much stress can cause relatively minor illnesses like insomnia, backaches, or headaches, and can contribute to potentially life-threatening diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease. If you think that you or someone you know may be under more stress than just dealing with a passing difficulty, it may be helpful to talk with a doctor, spiritual advisor, or employee assistance professional. Plains Area Mental Health professionals are here for you. We welcome people of all ages and from all backgrounds. Please call one of our office for an appointment or take a free online assessment on this website.
P.S. Cognitive behavioral therapy provides one of the most effective ways to manage stress by teaching stressed individuals ways to recognize and change negative thought patterns.