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Dealing with anxiety about aging?


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This has become the central topic of my latest ruminations...I'm still in my 40's, but I'm worrying a lot about getting older. I'm having some random health issues (aches/pains, chronic fatigue etc) that I never had before.

I don't have any children and get triggered every time I see photos of other people's kids (literally everyone I know my age has kids now). I know that it's not a given that all families are happy or one's kids will take care of you in old age, but it's just the thought of having a family around! My parents are approaching late 70's and they live very far away, cannot travel. I have no other close family (or even close friends) that I can really depend on.

Anyone know how to remedy these anxious thoughts? One of my biggest fears is being alone in old age, with increased health issues, and being totally isolated/alone in despair. I'd rather die young.

Edited by Blahblah
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I could've written this myself.  And Toby is 10 years older than me so he'll probably die first.  And I will be all alone, and likely will have to settle for sub-standard long-term care homes.  Last time I was in psych emerg I spent my times staring at the wall and crying, because - one day I'll be warehoused because I'm old, and it'll be the same.

It's one reason I want Toby to buy a gun, so when the time comes I can kill him then myself.  I don't want him to be old and suffer.  

Edited by jarn
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Well I’m in the same boat I guess only older. My brother is in poor health with a condition that usually lives 4 years and my mother over 90. I wasn’t a good aunt so doubt I can rely on nieces. My closest friends have died and I don’t seem to be able to form the same type friendships. No kids. Ex-husband dead. So I hope I can either make closer friends, find a spouse in good health, or get closer to my nieces and be able to trust them. Long term care insurance might be good, too. Obviously I have given this thought. I will say I have family and friends in their 70’s still supporting adult kids so not sure having kids is reliable plus I would have been a crap parent i I suspect. I guess I can make an advance directive saying please nothing heroic and don’t prolong me in a vegetative state to at least cover that. So I hope I find a close friend or spouse. That’s my best chance and hope for health. Does it help the anxiety?  Maybe that would be stretching it but it’s at least something. 

Edited by sugarsugar
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I feel the same way, but I’m 29. I’m gay and the longest relationship I had lasted six months, and that was over 10 years ago so I think it’s very likely I’ll end up old and alone. The thought scares me so much, even though I am already alone. I probably won’t have kids because I am mentally unstable and poor. I would really like to die young. I hope I do.

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  • 6 months later...

I can so relate to this.  I chose not to have kids because of my mental illness lost my first husband and all my friends because of not having kids.  Have since remarried he too has mental issues, his two sisters live out of town and he has no friends. I have no family other than him and no friends.  I just turned 60 and all I think of is getting sick and being old and alone.  I searched the internet there is actually a name for us "Elder Orphans".  If you have the money there are people you can hire to oversee your care. Forgot the exact name elder care managers or something like that.  My worst fear is Husband is going to die before me, Hell I don't even drive due to anxiety.  Don't know how I will survive.  My Mom was in low income housing then in a nursing home so I have seen what my future holds and it is not pretty.  My Mom's roommate at nursing home had no family all I kept thinking is that will be me some day.  Husband has been saving lots of money but he does not make that much and savings will only last so long.  I am not able to even work.  Feels good to know I am not the only one obsessing over this. Best of luck my fellow Elder Orphans!    

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  • 3 months later...

Hi there. I just turned 47 this month (June). I am married but we decided not to have children. I made the choice not to have children long before I married, because in my opinion it is just stupid to bring another kid into this world when there are already so many who do not have loving homes. By, as I said, that is just MY opinion. I have some health issues that could cut my life expectancy short but my husband is fairly healthy and we have both assumed I'd be the first to go. That said, nothing ever turns out like you plan, and there is a high probability I'll end up in a nursing home if he does leave this world before I do. I try to prepare myself for the possibility of living out the last years in a nursing home and it isn't exciting at all. 

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