Aging is a part of life. We are born as babies, and each day that passes after that signifies growth. A newborn will be a week old after seven days. For some, the idea of growing old can be scary. This fear is called Gerascophobia, a word derived from the Greek phrases tha geraso, which means ‘I am getting old’, and phobos, which means dread or deep fear.
To a certain degree, many of us fear to get old. It does not help that the media is obsessed with youthful looks and almost everywhere you turn is an advert featuring young models. Not to mention all the anti-aging products in the market that promise to slow down aging and prevent wrinkles, sagging of the skin and other body parts. There are even tales of past explorers searching for the elusive Fountain of Youth.
Aging is a beautiful experience, but the fear of it can turn into a negative experience. Below are ten signs that you may have a fear of getting old:
1. You Lie About Your Age
This absolute fear of getting old is manifested by lying about your age. When you’re uncomfortable talking about your age, you most likely have a fear of growing old. If you are always lying about your age or refusing to discuss it, you are in denial and scared of getting old.
2. Not Dressing Your Age
Growing old doesn’t mean you have to wear “old people” clothes. You can still be stylish even as you age. However, if you insist on dressing in crop tops and tight clothes like a teenager, you need to step back and appreciate your age. Hey, you still look great for your age!
3. Buying Anti-Aging Products
Your bathroom cabinet is overflowing with any and all the anti-aging products the market has to offer. Anything that promised to reverse your age in any way, you bought it to forestall growing old.
Sadly, these products are aimed to exploit people like you, people who have such a fear of getting old that they’ll buy anything that promises to remove wrinkles, tighten the skin on their neck, or firm-up your chest.
4. Surgical Procedures
If you have to go under the knife to look younger, you are obviously terrified of growing old. Many go for plastic surgery to look young, while others seek regular Botox procedures to get rid of wrinkles and to tighten their skin. The problem is that the procedures are risky and often cause more damage than good.
5. Hanging out with Young People
Chasing after a younger crowd to hang out with instead of your peers signals your fear of growing old. Somehow, in your head, you believe this will keep you young. However, the reality is that it will not. It will probably take a toll on you as you try to keep up with them. You can’t keep up with the activities they engage in, such as clubbing and dancing all night.
6. Obsessed with Exercise and Healthy Eating
Whether you are living alone or living happily inside a retirement facility, exercise and eating healthy are necessary to maintain good health. However, when you become obsessed with healthy eating, especially with foods that are purported to reverse aging, remove wrinkles or renew your bones, this is a sure sign you are scared of getting old.
Exercise is good for the body, but overdoing it and thinking that missing a day will give you a sagging skin is a sure sign of an obsession with staying young.
7. Keeping up with Anti-aging Fads
Having a grasp of the latest anti-aging fads, no matter how ridiculous they are, shows you fear to get old. Hunting down a newly-discovered fruit or drink that supposedly makes you look younger is not normal behaviour. It’s evidence of someone who has a fear of getting old. You will probably spend time and money trying out these fads, which you will eventually realize cannot do what they claim to do.
8. Aversion for Titles Such as ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’
Your frustrated reaction when someone refers to you as sir or ma’am is a sure sign you’re terrified of growing old. With age comes specific titles, and refusing to accept them is a sign you are scared of being seen as old.
In fact, you might insist that much younger people, like your kid’s friends, refer to you by your first name instead of Sir, Mr., Ms. or Ma’am. Well, Ma’am, years have rolled on. There’s no need to fear growing old.
9. You Make Fun of People Older than You
Your fear of getting old can have you making fun of people who are barely older than you. You continuously point out the fact that you’re a couple of years younger, or worse, a few months younger.
10. Buying Hair Dyes
You notice one single grey hair on your head and you panic. Off you run to the cosmetics store to buy hair dye. Grey hair will come as you age (if you’re fortunate to have hair on your head). Obsession with dyeing your hair, fearing it makes you look older than you are, or just to make you look younger than you are, is a sure sign you are terrified of growing old.
Aging is a natural process. It’s nothing to be scared of. Growing older does not mean your life will be over, or that you will miss out on trends. Life is a gift and getting to live long is terrific. Embrace your age and enjoy each phase of your life.