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Gerontophobia (from Greek gerōn, "old man") is the fear of old people or the elderly. People with gerontophobia may fear elderly people or being elderly themselves. Young people oftentimes do not understand people older than them and they fear them. They believe that there is nothing in common and isolating themselves from old people turn into fear and hatred of the elderly. The fear of older people may have been brought about by previous interaction with the elderly who may already have dementia and display childish or even violent behavior.

Symptoms of gerontophobia are synonymous to many anxiety disorders, like rapid breathing, palpations, thoughts of death and dying, losing control, and feeling detached from reality. When confronted with their fears, they usually panic. Breathing techniques are often used to handle stressful situations.

Gerontophobia is closely related to gerascophobia, fear of getting old.

Social resonance[edit | edit source]

People who express their gerontophobia usually get confronted with the conventional wisdom of “One day, you will be old too!”.

People in society[Note 1] uttering the phrase “One day, you will be old” unconsciously describe the origin of gerontophobia and gerascophobia at the same time.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. The word “society” has turned into a buzzword in society, but meant sincerely here.
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