Reasons Why People Fear Aging

December 27, 2011 | Life & Leisure

Some people wished there was really a place called “Neverland,” where time stops and people cease to grow old. If this was true, I’m quite sure only a handful will be left to inherit the earth.

While growing old can be a fearful thought to some, it need not to be that way. Worrying too much about it won’t do any good. In fact, it can even turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy and you’ll end up looking much older than your age.

People nowadays have become too preoccupied with growing old. Even the slightest hint of aging can result in a complete freak-out. In medical terms, people with this kind of irrational fear are said to have “gerascophobia” – fear of growing old. You can call it “Peter Pan” syndrome, if you will.

So why are we so concerned about growing old?  Men and women have different reasons.

  • Impotence. It is one of men’s worst nightmares – even scarier than death or cancer. For men, being unable to perform what they used to is unbearable. It’s one nature’s way of saying, “no hard feelings.”
  • Weakness. Physical strength is what makes man a man. It’s one of the manly attributes that symbolizes virility. Unfortunately, even the strongest man on earth is no match against the diminishing effect of aging.
  • Senility. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often closely associated with growing old. The scary thing is that men are more likely to have this in old age compared to women. Perhaps part of being a man is to have the courage to face this fact.
  • Unattractiveness. Women are designed by nature to appear attractive. Otherwise men would lose interest. Sadly, as women grow older they slowly lose physical attractiveness, the very reason for their existence.
  • Being Left Alone. Unlike most men, women love to have company. They like staying around with somebody they can talk to, do things together or go some place with someone dear to them. Children leaving home or death of a loved one can be quite depressing for most women.
  • Cancer. As women age, they become more prone to certain cancers: ovarian, cervical, colon, and breast cancer. That’s why doctors recommend mammograms, pap smears, and colonoscopies more often as women get older. This only adds up to their fears that their body is slowly breaking down.

How to age with grace

  • Just live a healthy, normal life and let time have its due course.
  • Keep yourself mentally, physically, and socially active.
  • Surround yourself with friends and make yourself likeable.
  • It’s not all physical attractiveness or talent that impresses people; it’s your personality and charisma that matters most of the time.

Here is an inspiring quote about aging:

“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”  – Douglas MacArthur

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