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Fear of Growing Old

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Hey, there, I don’t know whom else to talk too. My parents think that I’m being silly, they just tell me to get it over with. But I’m really afraid of getting old, and it’s really getting bad these days.

Like it’s not so much as the physical aspects as the mental. I’ve heard how boring old people are, how they don’t like change or don’t rebel or anything. And like they don’t like listening to new music, and as silly as that may sound ,music is a big part of my life, and I can’t imagine the day when I don’t feel like listening to any new music. And I don’t think that old people are any wiser than young people too, that’s just silly, we’re all humans.

I don’t want to end up an old person in front of the telly, cranky and hating anything new, never getting excited about anything, not having any friends or any interests that I haven’t done a thousand times before. Basically, I’m just afraid that I’ll end up like a boring zombie as soon as I cross my thirties. Like an internal death. Everything that I’m passionate about, new music, human rights, art, even my very passion will just fade away. The only days I care about will not be the days that I live, but I’ll be looking at my past, and wondering why things were so better back then, and why everything is so horrible now. I would basically living the rest of my life in the shadow of what I did in the first three decades of my life. The scary thing is that it is inevitable, that no matter what I do, however hard I try, it’s still not going to do anything, I can’t stop it. The odds are stacked up against me, higher than Mount Everest. I’m still going to end up like that, because apparently science and society have predestined that. Like age could take anything from me, my legs, my eyes, even my memory, not that want them gone, but it would be better than taking away my very personality.

I would do anything to avoid that. And I feel that maybe the only way to outrun my miserable, inevitable fate before it catches up with me, is to kill myself while I’m still young. (From India)

Fear of Growing Old

Answered by on -

A.

  While I can understand the concern, the research shows us another picture of aging. It tends to be that older people are happier and feel less of the anxiety that is associated with younger ages. While every age has its challenges, longitudinal research shows that if you are dynamic when you are young, if you have a good temperament earlier in life, you will tend to be dynamic with a good temperament in later years. In fact one of the most dramatic studies on the relationship to temperament and health and happiness is the so-called Nun Study. If you have any questions about aging and quality of life going forward this study should answer them.

Finally, what we do know is that worrying too much about the future robs you of the attention you need to flourish in the moment. Concentrate on the life you are living now — and it will keep rewarding you as you mature.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Fear of Growing Old

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Fear of Growing Old. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/06/28/fear-of-growing-old/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 27 Jun 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 27 Jun 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.