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Old 08-09-2010, 04:55 AM   #1
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afraid of aging

This is killing me

 
Old 08-09-2010, 09:51 AM   #2
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Re: Aging fears

Tulum...is it the fear of aging or a fear of dying?

There's lots you can do to slow the aging process on your face and other external areas and even a lot you can do to slow the effects of aging on the internal organs.

But if you are afraid of dying with old age, then you have a problem that could probably use some psychological help. The reality is, you will age and you will die IF you are lucky enough to survive adulthood into old age.

I remember being around your age and being so pre-occupied with dying I was afraid to go out. I did seek help and a very wise shrink summed it up quite easily and well for me. He said......we are all afraid of dying but life is so short, why waste even a second worrying about something you can't do anything about?

Made sense. I was spending time worrying about something I could not stop or prevent. I have just so much time here on earth. So why waste time worrying about it.....spend the time doing something to make my hours and days and minutes and seconds better. Don't have to go out and start living it up for tomorrow we die but I can make more of it than sitting around being scared to death about it happening.

So what is making you so terrified....the aging process or dying? And what specifically is making you so fearful if it's the aging process....pain, aging looks, being chronically ill...what?

When it's so nebulous(aging?), you can't make any headway in understanding it. You need to figure out exactly what is so horrifying to you. Then you can understand it.

hugs...........Jenny

 
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:23 AM   #3
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Re: Aging fears

thanks for the reply.

it doesn't help to keep hearing, it is going to happen so just live.

I try to do that, it doesn't make anything better.


I am so worried about losing my looks, youth, having fun, energy, mobility, feeling good about myself, health problems, life passed by, and dying is huge

I fear it and being so terrified while it is happening

 
Old 08-09-2010, 01:51 PM   #4
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Re: Aging fears

Okay, so it's all of it...the whole idea of your body and looks deteriorating and then you die...a life missed out on.

Do you feel like you've missed out on having a good youth? Like you had a chance to do so much and didn't? Or is it just a general fear of what is to come? Has someone in your family not aged well?

See, I turn 59 on Thursday and this past year has been he!! for me because my mother died at 58..cancer. And she did not go well. She tried to make me as miserable as she possibly could before she left. I so dreaded reaching 58 fearing I would follow in her footsteps and wondering if I would be as personally ugly as she was.

My next hurdle is 62 as my father died 4 years later and did the same thing...was really mean to me before he died and I fear I will die as he did and be mean as well.

My parents taught me to be older and dying was a mean and angry thing so I have feared it a lot. So I did a lot of therapy to make sure I would never be the mean person they were but I still have that deep inner fear. I know so many older people who seem so unhappy and in pain, physically and emotionally. I won't do that......I keep telling myself I won't do that to my kids. I know how much it hurt me so I won't do it.

As for the loss of looks and stuff, yeah, I stand in the mirror and wish I could afford a face lift to get back some of my looks. My husband will be 65 this year and looks about 50. At 59, I look like I'm 70+. I see the sagging skin and the graying hair. I look old and with all the medical problems I have I feel old. I have more arthritis than most people when they die.

But you are 34. You can do things now to help stop that part of it. You can stay out of the sun and use moisturizers. You can exercise to keep the muscles strong and healthy. You can eat healthy and try the recommended low cal. diet that seems to prolong life. You are young enough to do something about your body now.

I think your mind is a different thing. You are stressing yourself out and stress ages you badly. That is where you may need to get some help. Therapy isn't for "crazy" people but for people who want to change something about themselves. You want to change your fear of aging so why not give it a try. It might give you the mind set you need to go forward positively. Just alleviating stress will help you immediately by lowering those stress hormones.

Half the battle with aging is the mind. I fear dementia because I was severely mentally ill as a teen and early 20's due to severe abuse as a child. PTSD can really make you nuts, especially when you don't remember being abused and what you do remember no one believes. Losing one's mind is not good! And that is my big fear with aging. So I do things every day to stave off dementia...I eat a brain healthy diet and do brain exercises. I am back in therapy for the first time in 20 years. I need to finish what I started so many years ago and get rid of that left over anger and accept what was done to me so I go onto my senior years happy.

Does any of this make any sense to you? Does anything ring a bell deep inside you as the problem you have with aging or is it all of it still? Do you think perhaps you are starting to suffer from depression and that may be what's behind all of this fear? It does it to me and that is why I'm back in therapy...I got deeply depressed after being injured 3 years ago and waking up in the hospital with the family around the bed as I wasn't supposed to live through the day. Scared me so badly and sent me into a big depression. I feared dying every day. It's taken me 3 years to even put some new plants in my garden as I didn't think I'd be around the following year to see them come back up. Depression can really make you dread life at the same time as you fear death.

Could this be depression?

I can feel your pain and I'm trying to help you figure out what the problem is because if you can identify the problem, then you can do what you need to to deal with it. I guess I sense depression.

I wish I could help more, Tulum.

gentle hugs............Jenny

 
Old 08-09-2010, 02:05 PM   #5
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Re: Aging fears

thank you jenny. you are so caring and wise.

there is something inside me that does not WANT to get better it seems.

I think because I feel I know there will be no acceptable solution because I have to age and die and I will always know this and I cannot accept that so I feel why even bother trying.

I am not 34, I will be 37 in october

And I would like to do the things you say, about upkeeping my looks and body etc but this fear prevents me just like it did with you and the garden

I keep thinking I won't be around much longer so what is the point

I do suffer from deep depression

it's also tough for me because I have no one, no friends, no support

 
Old 08-09-2010, 04:15 PM   #6
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Re: Aging fears

Sorry I got the age wrong...been doing that today...must be a "senior moment"...uh-oh.

I would try some therapy for the depression. Learning to accept the things we cannot change is one of the real basics of life and something therapy can help you deal with. After all, it's the first thing they teach you in AA or any other self help group...learn to accept what you cannot change, change what you can and have the wisdom to know the difference between the 2. If therapy can help you with anything, it's learning acceptance and helping gain wisdom.

I don't want to die and I can remember wishing I had never been born so I wouldn't have to fear dying. I envied animals who don't know what death is but do fear a predator. But I've come to terms with it.

Please consider some therapy to help you deal with this. And I can assure you that this is something a lot of people go through at your age. And now that you mention you are going to be 37....I was 36 when I had that heart to heart with my shrink. It's the age we start to face our own mortality. It's painful but we do grow from it.

wishing you peace.....gentle hugs..........Jenny

 
Old 08-09-2010, 11:26 PM   #7
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Re: Aging fears

Quote:
Originally Posted by tulum View Post
This is killing me
You keep obsessing over it as you have been, it just might end up killing you!!

 
Old 09-16-2010, 02:48 AM   #8
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Re: Aging fears

I also feel the same as the author of this thread. I am almost 37 and noticed a strand of grey hair shortly after turning 35 and since then ive noticed a few more greys. I keep imagining myself with grey hair and how old its gonna make me look and feel. I don't believe that m a young person anymore as m almost 40. I will b needing reading glasses soon and this month I have already started looking at frames for glasses lol no joke m serious! I'd like to maintain a slim figure but I worry that I'll end up gaining weight as I get older as you can gain weight due to fluid retention as u get older and u also gain weight after menopause. I feel uncomfortable and unattractive around younger women cos they are youthful and better looking then me. M getting this frown that runs down from your nose to upper lips and I believe that it will get worse as i get older. I've noticed that ppl in their 60s have got very deep frowns. I look at elderly ppl using walkers and sticks and how slow they are and I imagine myself like that in another 40 years. I won't be able to wear short skirts and dresses after 40. I want to dress like a women in her 40s. I also worry like the author that I'm losing my youth!

 
Old 09-16-2010, 04:26 AM   #9
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Re: Aging fears

Quote:
Originally Posted by bag raiders View Post
I also feel the same as the author of this thread. I am almost 37 and noticed a strand of grey hair shortly after turning 35 and since then ive noticed a few more greys. I keep imagining myself with grey hair and how old its gonna make me look and feel. I don't believe that m a young person anymore as m almost 40. I will b needing reading glasses soon and this month I have already started looking at frames for glasses lol no joke m serious! I'd like to maintain a slim figure but I worry that I'll end up gaining weight as I get older as you can gain weight due to fluid retention as u get older and u also gain weight after menopause. I feel uncomfortable and unattractive around younger women cos they are youthful and better looking then me. M getting this frown that runs down from your nose to upper lips and I believe that it will get worse as i get older. I've noticed that ppl in their 60s have got very deep frowns. I look at elderly ppl using walkers and sticks and how slow they are and I imagine myself like that in another 40 years. I won't be able to wear short skirts and dresses after 40. I want to dress like a women in her 40s. I also worry like the author that I'm losing my youth!

I think and feel the same things

 
Old 09-16-2010, 02:23 PM   #10
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Re: Aging fears

Tulum, I am very concerned by your fears. I read some of your previous postings after reading this thread.

Please reconsider therapy! If you are near a university that has a counseling center, or refers to a counseling center, you might be able to get therapy on a sliding scale fee schedule if you have limited or no mental health insurance benefits. These counseling centers are run by qualified/credentialed professionals. The amount of time and energy your anxiety drains from your physical and mental resources is apparently taking a major toll on you. It may require therapy and medication to begin feeling progress. Therapy and meds are great resources. But like any other resources, it may take a little tweeking to get you with the most effective therapist and the most effective med. So don’t be afraid to speak plainly to a mental health professional about your perception of how well the therapist/therapy and/or drugs seem to benefit you. I can understand your concerns about therapy and/or psych ER. However, the longer you wait the more time you will spend in this stressful territory.

If this is too big a step, then break it down into little tasks. First, just see what counseling centers are available to you. Second, make a call and ask about their anxiety management techniques and do they treat body dysmorphic disorders (false perception of one’s body image). Third, make an intake appointment, to get the initial “enrollment” paperwork done (if that is done, you can probably pick up on the therapy appointments within a reasonable time if you need a little space between intake and first session).

Things that might help in the interim:

Pick out the clothes that you like best, feel best in, colors that you associate with happier/better times and wear them.
If you can afford it, find a personal image consultant or makeup artist. Good makeup artists or image consultants can help you choose a new hair color or style, new makeup strategies, clothing that plays up your best features. If this is not an option, check with local community colleges for personal interest courses in professional dress. They are usually reasonable in tuition and are limited to one or two sessions a week for a month or so.

Exercise. Even though exercising is difficult when dealing with major depressive episodes, it does release endorphins which are essential to a feeling of wellbeing.

Find something that you can focus on – like a picture of Phyllis Diller in one of her most outrageous outfits. Paste her on your mirror or fridge. Look at her and tell yourself that there is NOTHING that can make you look that bad!
This is what I believe and I hope that you will come to believe it, too. The Lord has a purpose for you…you will (or are touching) someone’s life in a way that you may never know. The Lord made you for that purpose and He sees you as a jewel in a larger picture/purpose.

From the number of answers you have received, it appears there are several people who care about you. We may not see each other over coffee or lunch but that does not diminish our desire that you be happy and healthy.

BTW, I’m in my sixties and have always disliked having legs that don’t work but I am “h__l on wheels”

God Bless
arogerskid

 
Old 09-23-2010, 12:38 AM   #11
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Re: Aging fears

Im 58 and have similar fears. I jump out of planes ,fish dive and enjoy myself as much as possible. Worrying about what we cant change is pointless. Time will modify that fear. You can be proactive by living a healthy lifestyle and minimize the effects of aging. We are all in the same boat.

 
Old 11-08-2010, 07:23 PM   #12
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Re: Aging fears

This is my first post here. I just had to reply because what you said hit so close to home. I'm almost your age, 35, and I have these exact same concerns. Sometimes I get depressed to the point of crying. I'd love to be able to turn back the clock 10 years or so.

 
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