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Gerascophobia (Greek: θα γεράσω, gerazo, "I am ageing" and φόβος, phobos, "fear")[1] is an abnormal or persistent fear of growing old or ageing.[2] The term comes from the Greek γέρος "geros" (old man) and "phobos" (fear).[3] Gerascophobia is a clinical phobia generally classified under specific phobias, fear of a single specific panic trigger.

Some authors also refer to it as "gerontophobia", while others prefer to distinguish the fear or dislike of old age in general from the fear of one's own ageing.[1]

Gerascophobia is based on anxieties of being left alone, without resources and incapable of caring for oneself.[4] Sufferers may be young and healthy.

Symptoms include losing their appearance when they grow old, fearing the future, and fear of needing to rely on others to do daily functions. Many also fear they will not play an active role in society when they get older. [5]

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Perspectives on Aging, by Priscilla W. Johnston, 1982, ISBN 0-88410-734-5, pp. 239-241
  2. Definition of gerascophobia
  3. Definition of Gerascophobia. URL accessed on 18 September 2011.
  4. John G. Robertson, An Excess of Phobias and Manias, p. 90.
  5. Symptoms of Gerascophobia. URL accessed on 29 September 2011.

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