This reading list provides links to and summaries of a variety of open source resources related to mental health and older adults. 3 pages.

Trauma is a natural emotional reaction to terrible experiences that involve actual or threatened serious harm to oneself or others. However, for some people, the thoughts or memories of these events seriously affect their lives, long after any real danger has passed. This is posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a serious anxiety disorder.

The study of human anxiety disorders has benefited greatly from functional neuroimaging approaches. Individual studies, however, vary greatly in their findings. The authors searched for common and disorder-specific functional neurobiological deficits in several anxiety disorders. The authors also compared these deficits to the neural systems engaged during anticipatory anxiety in healthy subjects. 

This webpage contains information about the following forms of anxiety: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), health anxiety (hypochondriasis), panic disorder, phobia and social anxiety.

This site has an "open source" policy for sharing psychology tools which includes worksheets, audio and video files, scales & measures and therapist resources. One section is for professionals and a second for the public wanting information and tools for self-help. 

Dogs in particular can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. Caring for a dog can help children grow up more secure and active or provide valuable companionship for older adults. Perhaps most importantly, though, a dog can add real joy and unconditional love to your life.

Professionals working in primary healthcare settings are likely to come into contact with older adults suffering with anxiety disorders. These disorders are often difficult to distinguish from the normal worries of older adults, from nervous personalities, physical illnesses with symptoms similar to some that accompany anxiety, and mental and emotional changes related to the development of cognitive impairment or dementia.

Although anxiety disorders are common at all ages, there is a misconception that their prevalence drastically declines with age. For this reason anxiety disorders often are underdiagnosed and undertreated in geriatric patients, especially when the clinical presentation of these disorders in older patients differs from that seen in younger adults.

Excessive anxiety that causes distress or that interferes with daily activities is not  a normal part of aging, and can lead to a variety of health problems and decreased functioning in everyday life. Between 3% and 14% of older adults meet the criteria for a diagnosable anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health conditions, and in any given year, about 10% of adults aged 65 and older experience a diagnosable anxiety disorder. Over their lifetimes, about 15% of those who survive past the age of 65 will have had an anxiety disorder.

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