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Gerascophobia is an abnormal or incessant fear of growing older or ageing (senescence).[1]


Gerascophobia is a clinical phobia generally classified under specific phobias or fears of a single specific panic trigger. Gerascophobia may be based on anxieties of being left alone without resources and incapable of caring for oneself due to age-caused disability.[2]

Due to humans being mortality salient, sufferers will often feel as though aging is the first sign that their immune systems are starting to weaken, making them more vulnerable and prone to diseases.


Some sufferers seek plastic surgery to make them look more youthful,[3] while the main concern of others is a fear of internal, biological long-term damage caused by the aging process.


The term gerascophobia comes from the Greek γηράσκω, gerasko, "I grow old" and φόβος, phobos, "fear".[4] Some authors refer to it as gerontophobia, although this may also refer to the fear of the elderly due to memento mori.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Definition of gerascophobia on
  2. ^ John G. Robertson, An Excess of Phobias and Manias, p. 90.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Perspectives on Aging, by Priscilla W. Johnston, 1982, ISBN 0-88410-734-5, pp. 239-241