Can Anxiety Disorder Start In You Early 40's

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Asked by ROB

Can Anxiety Disorder Start In You Early 40's


Hi Rob,

Yes, people in their 40's are not immune from developing an anxiety disorders. It is not the average age of onset for any of the anxiety disorders, however.

For Panic Disorder, the average age of onset is 25, but older adults can definitely deveop it.

Social Anxiety Disorder can begin in early adolescence (age 12 or 13), but many report symptoms beginning in early childhood. Initially, I was surprised to see some older adults develop social anxiety disorder (who didn't have a history of it), but I have seen it on some very rare occasions.

80% of people with OCD show signs of it in childhood. I've never seen an adult with OCD that did not have significant symptoms during childhood.

PTSD, of course, is not associated with an age of onset but rather the experience of a trauma.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) also typically begins in childhood, however it's onset is also associated with depression in adolescence.

If you think you have an anxiety disorder, please seek treatment. My clients who had a late onset without a long history of the disorder (or without other comorbid disorders) tend to respond positively to Cognitive Behavioral therapy much more quickly than those who developed an anxiety disorder at a young age.

Best Wishes,

Dr. Jennifer Fee

You should know

Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition.

Answered by Jennifer L. Fee, Psy.D.