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Anxiety is a common and often misunderstood mental health issue that affects individuals of all ages, including men.

Understanding anxiety

Anxiety is a natural response to stress and challenging situations, but it becomes a concern when it persists and interferes with daily life.

For older men, anxiety can manifest differently than in younger individuals. Common symptoms include excessive worry, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances.


Understanding your triggers is crucial in addressing anxiety. These tend to be more personal, to you and are exacerbated when not anticipated. Possible causes in can include:

  • (High) Changes in your personal life: Retirement, loss of loved ones, separation and divorce or other significant life changes. These are made worse if they were not anticipated.
  • (High) Health changes: Chronic disease, declining health, feeling the effects and fear of aging, feeling like you are not as capable as you once were.
  • (High) Financial changes: Worries about retirement savings, investment that may be performing badly, cost of living and interest rate increases, and general financial stability. This related uncertainty and the worry about standard of living can be debilitating.
  • Career changes: Loss or career or end of career and feeling the lack of demand for your skill in jobs you once did, redundancy and retrenchment.
  • Isolation: Loneliness and the lack of social connection or inability to find an intimate partner.
  • Past trauma: Unresolved traumas from the past can resurface as you get older.


    This can be debilitating, leaving you unable to operate normally, which can make it harder to deal with the anxiety.

    Impact of anxiety on you can include:

    1. Cardiovascular issues: Prolonged anxiety can increase the risk of heart problems.
    2. Depression: Anxiety and depression often coexist and can worsen each other's symptoms.
    3. Cognitive decline: Chronic anxiety may affect memory and cognitive function.
    4. Sleep disturbances: Anxiety can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to ongoing fatigue and irritability, and this can further impact your health.
    5. Social withdrawal: Men may withdraw from social activities due to anxiety, leading to further isolation.

    Recognising the signs of anxiety, and seeking help are critical steps in managing the condition. Men can be notoriously bad at getting the help they need and suffer in silence which can result in self-harm. If you are having thoughts about self-harm, contact lifeline immediately on 131314.

    Know that you are not alone.

    Ignore any thoughts of stigma. we are way past that, true friends understand, and you may be amazed by the support you get from those close to you. Getting help is a sign of strength. Know that everyone is difference and anxiety can manifest differently so don't compare your experience to others.

    Self-care is care and help from a mental health professional. Don't leave it too late, shorten the cycle and symptoms with these. Engaging in self-care activities like exercise, hobbies, and mindfulness can start to reduce anxiety immediately, the key is getting out of the funk, realising you have a problem and committing to some of these. No mate what, substance abuse can make it and how you feel about yourself worse.

    Managing and coping

    Do more than one thing and try find what works for you.

    1. Therapy: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and counselling can help identify and address triggers.
    2. Medication: In some cases, medications prescribed by healthcare professionals. Make sure you ask questions and read up on these to understand side effects and any dependencies.
    3. Physical activity: Regular exercise releases endorphins. Just get moving as much as you can.
    4. Mindfulness and meditation: These practices promote relaxation and enhance self-awareness.
    5. Social support: Stay connected with friends, family, or support groups to combat isolation. They love you, care for you and will support you.
    6. Nutrition: Nourishing the body with a balanced diet positively impacts mental well-being.
    7. Limiting stress: Practice time management and prioritise activities that help reduce your stress levels.

    Find more on managing and coping with stress here.


    Anxiety is a massive concern that can be managed with awareness, support, and proactive strategies.

    Seeking help and understanding the causes is a strong step towards a healthier and happier life. For personalised advice and support, consult a qualified healthcare professional. Find more on the causes related to stress here.

    Remember, you are not alone. Reach out, talk, move.

    Disclaimer: The information provided by Old Bull Health in this article is for informational purposes and should not replace professional medical advice. Our content is not intended to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and thus reliance should not be placed on it. If you are experiencing symptoms, please consult a healthcare professional.

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