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Published on April 13, 2015

Angst: A Lifelong Problem for Women?

April 13, 2015

Stress, anxiety, tension, worry, nervous and anger signsFrom puberty to age 50, women are twice as likely to develop an anxiety disorder. However, you can overcome anxiety with help.

Women are more sensitive than men to low corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)—a hormone that helps to regulate stress responses. As a result, women are twice as vulnerable to disorders related to anxiety. Some research also suggests that women’s brains may process serotonin­—a chemical that boosts mood—more slowly, disrupting normal stress responses.

3 Forms of Anxiety

Anxiety can take many forms for women. Common anxiety disorders that can affect women include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which is a state of persistent worry lasting six months or more. GAD may cause the expectation of a disaster at any time and a struggle to feel at peace even when things are going well.
  • Panic disorder is a related series of acute episodes, usually not lasting more than about 10 minutes, characterized by overwhelming anxiety. Sweating, breathlessness and other physical symptoms generally accompany feelings of intense stress. Sometimes triggered by a specific event, feelings of stress often seem to have no direct relation to what is going on.
  • Phobias are involuntary and irrational fears, commonly related to objects, animals, social interactions or heights. The severity of phobias varies, ranging from simply impairing normal activities to making them feel impossible.

With the help of a physician and psychiatrist, these common conditions for women are easily treatable. You don’t have to pull through on your own.

The Role of Relaxation

Anxiety can make it hard to relax enough to sleep, which makes the feelings even harder to overcome. Completing a couple of breathing exercises before hitting the hay could help you drift off easier.

Sit up in bed, with one hand on your stomach. Breathe deeply through your nose. You should feel your diaphragm expand. Repeat up to 10 times. Follow this with a few minutes of guided visualization while listening to some soft music or using an app that allows you to focus on specific images.

If necessary, repeat the whole process.

Would you like to learn more methods to help calm anxiety? Call Behavioral Health Services today!

Sources: adaa.orgadaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statisticshealthywomen.org/condition,healthywomen.org/content

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