Feelings of anxiety can be normal and healthy, or they can indicate an anxiety problem. It’s normal, for example, to feel afraid when a large dog snaps at you or to worry when a family member is several hours late and has not called. These feelings can help you to protect yourself and others you care about. Once the situation is resolved or changes, the fear or worry should go away.
However, you may have an anxiety problem if your feelings of worry or fear:
- occur most of the time
- keep you awake at night
- prevent you from doing things during the day.
Anxiety problems in older adults are common, and they often go unrecognized.
Anxiety problems may be caused by:
- stressful or traumatic events
- alcohol, medications and caffeine
- family history of anxiety disorders
- other medical or psychiatric problems.