Cheslie Kryst, the former Miss United States who was afraid of getting old: I’m running out of time | Orientation | Magazine

In March 2021, the former Miss United States Cheslie Kryst wrote an editorial for the magazine Allure, in which he confessed that every time he said out loud that he was going to be 30 years old, he cringed a little. “Society has never been kind to those who are getting old.” he said, “especially with women (occasional exceptions made for some of the rich and few of the famous).”

Kryst was found on January 30 at the foot of the Orion, the 60-story apartment building in which she had lived, in Manhattan. The coroner determined that she had been death by suicide.

Cheslie Kryst’s last message on Instagram before she died

Crowned Miss United States in 2019, when she was 28 years oldThere was something that made a stronger impression on her than the diamond and pearl tiara. Immediately after, she was declared the oldest woman to have obtained that titleand soon some fans of the traditional event started a petition for the age limit to be lowered.

“Turning 30 feels like a cold reminder that I’m running out of time to matter in the eyes of societyand it is outrageous”, he confessed to Allure. “How do I shake the unbreakable norms of society when I am facing the relentless passage of time?”

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How to calculate the ‘mental age’ or subjective

The severe fear of aging or gerascophobiais an unpleasant emotion that occurs in response to a sense of danger, real or imagined.

Sometimes it is accompanied by gerontophobiaor the rejection of elders or peers, as he wrote for The Conversation Enrique Fernández Lópiz, professor of Psychogerontology at the University of Granada, in Spain.

Fernandez explains that In addition to the chronological age we have a subjective age, and that this is measured by asking ourselves how old we look and if we are satisfied with it. It is calculated by decades (of 20, of 30, of 40), noting the following variables:

  • What decade do I feel in?
  • What decade of life do I think I’m in?
  • What decade do I associate the things I do with?
  • Which decade best expresses my interests.

By averaging these ages, we get subjective age, that in some cases can show great discrepancies with the real age, evidencing a denial of the person to reality.

The causes of the fear of aging: not only adults suffer from it

The components of the fear of aging are psychological, biological and socialoften due to external causes of stress, such as sexual abuse, detailed the psychiatrists Laurencia Perales Blum, Myrthala Juárez Treviño and the psychotherapist Daniela Escobedo Belloc, from the University of Nuevo León, in Mexico, in a 2014 study.

They then presented the case of a 14-year-old boy who had an excessive fear of growing up and getting oldand that he felt that his physical development was a threat, to the point that he took extreme measures to stop or hide his growth.

Her story was one of separation anxiety (from parents), sexual abuse, and bullying. She restricted herself in eating, criticized her own image, had negative feelings towards her maturation process and he suffered with the idea of ​​being rejected.

How to stop fearing aging? Talk to people your age

The Mexican specialists treated the case of the adolescent with psychotherapy based on mentalizing, an attachment-focused approach, and with the antidepressant fluoxetineand had favorable results, but they also highlighted the importance of dealing with the family, in this case the parents, so that they could help the young person to establish the goals, ideas and values ​​that he needed.

Having friends of all ages, but also of your own age, helps you accept the stage of life you are in. Photo: Shutterstock

For the AdultsFernández Lópiz advises a simpler approach: that those who have this fear participate in a group treatment with individuals of the same age, in which the therapist encourages reminiscence. “It is about talking about past events from their childhood or youth. Remembering and recounting old events and exercising remote memory is something that older people like”, he points out.

“This form of treatment, despite its technical simplicity, makes the members of the group approach by affinity the fact that they all belong to the same generation”, and so on. they will become aware of their age, gradually and pleasantly. (F)

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Cheslie Kryst, the former Miss United States who was afraid of getting old: I’m running out of time | Orientation | Magazine