Anxiety plagues us all, it does not discriminate. It can affect anyone, even those you may think are the strongest people you know, such as your mother. Women in particular are more prone to stress and anxiety.
Anxiety and women however is a very untouched subject as there is not enough information on it. In this article we will be exploring…
- Facts on Women and Anxiety
- Anxiety Signs and Symptoms for women
- Effects of Hormones on Anxiety
- Older women and Anxiety
- Reasons for Anxiety
- Coping Strategies
Facts to Consider
- Women are 60% more likely than men to develop mental illness
- Women are twice as likely to develop anxiety than men
- Anxiety begins earlier in women than in men
- Women are more likely than men to seek help and discuss their mental health needs
- Women are more open with their feelings and therefore can heal faster through appropriate help
Anxiety Symptoms: Women’s Edition
The signs and symptoms of anxiety are standard in all situations and scenarios. Women and men may react in the same ways when anxiety starts to rule their lives. Women can be just as aggressive as men and, men can be just as emotional as women.
There are many signs of anxiety to consider. For a more detailed list of signs and symptoms for anxiety, <<<<<CLICK HERE>>>>>.
Some signs and symptoms of anxiety that may be more present in women are as follows…
- Moodiness and unpredictable mood
- More quiet than usual
- Irritable and yelling and or nagging more
- Unpleasant facial expressions, unable to hide true feelings
- Decreased sexual desire and interest
- Overly planning or organizing everything
- Overly worrying about small details
- In need to be in control
- Overly cleaning and tidying or OCD symptoms
- Calling partners multiple times or texting
- Crying Easily or more often
- Hormonal imbalance and micronutrient imbalance
- Unkempt appearance at times or overly done up
- Hair loss
- Weight gain or loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Racing heart
- Inability to stay still
Hormones and Anxiety – Their role on women’s lives
Hormones are part of the human endocrine system and are chemical substances that have various roles in the body. They help control majority of the bodily systems and keeps the body and mind functioning properly.
Everyone has hormones regardless of sex, but they can affect women more so do to the natural life changes women face throughout life.
There are thyroid hormones, insulin, testosterone, serotonin, cortisol to name a few known hormones you may be familiar with.
There are hormones that are much more prominent in women or only exist in women such as progesterone, Estrogen, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and prolactin as well.
We can discuss all the various hormones and their functions but that is not the focus today. We are looking at how these hormones relate to women’s anxiety.
As you can see there are many more hormones women need to utilize based on needs such as puberty, menstruation and ovulation, child bearing, producing milk, and menopause. This is why hormones affect women more so than men.
Hormones can be out of proportion and therefore affect mood. When PMS occurs, hormones make you more tired and emotional. When pregnancy occurs, hormones can make you extremely fatigued and moody.
This moodiness can also mask as anxiety. Temporary hormonal imbalance like in PMS is normal, when hormone imbalances stay for long periods of time and are chronic, multiple health issues can occur including mental health.
If corisol levels (stress hormone) is increased for a long period, that means your body is under constant stress and therefore constant anxiety.
If your body still thinks you are pregnant when you are not due to pituitary issues, these hormones can affect mood and give you panic disorders and mood swings.
A temporary situation can continue to pose a problem even when it has passed because of medical concerns.
Thyroid hormones give plenty of issues to women with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. These issues again occur in women more so then men.
Thyroid issues can also cause weight and diet issues as they control metabolism which also in turn effects self-esteem and physical health.
Both factors are also anxiety triggers on their own apart from thyroid problems.
Older Women – The battle with life
Older women get anxiety too and may feel it at times more so than a younger woman. Menopause is a huge change in women that puts their hormones completely out of proportion and therefore their mood as well.
With the constant hot flashes, irritability, moodiness, fatigue, memory loss or foggy mind, dizziness and sleep disorders, it’s no wonder panic disorders and mood swings are so common.
Add the additional issue of aging and the creeping fear of death that begins with middle age, anxiety is very likely to happen. This is a vulnerable time for all as they start to feel weaker and look older.
The reality that you are not young anymore starts to rise. Any health concerns starts to manifest usually in middle age.
Then there are life changes. The kids have most likely all moved out and the house has become a little lonelier and quieter, leaving you with more time to think and worry. Retirement begins as well and now you are left feeling like you have no purpose.
As much as you could not wait to get to retirement, once you have reached it, there is a feeling of nothing to do, no structure.
Sure things around the house and grand kids can take up some time and give you some responsibility, but your routine of 25-30 years is thrown off and it is a big change.
You may also feel the burden of money from retirement and possibly a sick loved one to take care of. Retirement for most people does not provide enough money for living expenses, unless you had a really good paying job or your own company.
Sometimes thinking about how things will be paid for and the medical expenses that you may need now, that did not exist before, could build up your anxiety.
This is a period where loved ones such as spouse or parents could be sick and needing care. Being a caregiver can be hard and a burden on its own and, the idea of losing this loved one as well can bring bouts of anxiety as well.
It is no wonder older women develop anxiety when there are so many challenging life obstacles that come into play in this transitional period.
Reasons for Anxiety in Women
- Hormonal imbalances
- Child bearing and raising kids
- Birth control pills
- Self-esteem issues and lack of confidence
- Home responsibilities and pressures
- Work related stress and balancing home and work
- Obesity and inactivity
- Sugar and unhealthy food choices
Coping with Anxiety
A comprehensive list of coping skills can be found <<<<<HERE>>>>>. However, further coping strategies for women’s needs are as follows…
- Split house hold responsibility
- Get help from family, parents, and friends with the kids and baby sitting
- Manage Sleep, get enough rest
- Eat healthy and maintain a balanced diet
- Find time for yourself, connect with friends, take a bubble bath, read a good book etc.
- Get Hormones and essential vitamins and minerals in check
- Exercise and physical activity
- Talk with family and friends, stay social
There are many factors affecting women’s mental health and well-being as you can see. Women in particular are more prone to anxiety than men, and therefore have very specific challenges to overcome in life that can trigger anxiety.
It’s important to stay mindful of your feelings and concerns and, to remember you are not alone and do not need to handle everything by yourself.
Many things take a toll on women and initiate anxiety disorders but women are also resilient beings.
Women are very take charge kind of people and tend to get on top of things more so than men. Being house wives and not being able to work for so many generations, they have adapted to finding solutions for so many problems that arise in life.
Therefore, finding coping strategies and taking control of their mental and physical health is just another thing women can accomplish.
There is always ways to heal, and here at anxietyfreelife.com we have all the tools for you. If you have any further comments or suggestions, please list them in the comments below.