Q. My dad used to be a happy-go-lucky guy, always upbeat and joking around, but now he seems to dwell on all the bad news on TV and he doesn't want to go out of the house because it might rain or there might be traffic. Should I be concerned?
We all worry from time to time. Worrying is normal. It motivates us to think through problems and develop solutions.
But sometimes worrying seems to take over a person's life. If your dad is worrying excessively, so much so that it affects daily tasks and relationships, he may have an anxiety disorder.
Seniors are at high risk for clinical anxiety disorders. These can be related to stress and trauma, grief and loss, alcohol or prescription drugs, or other health conditions such as heart disease, dementia or depression. According to the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, up to 20% of older adults are dealing with some form of this condition.