The prevalence of women anxiety is rising every two to three years.
This means that more and more women suffer from some type of anxiety almost every year, which further means that if this trend continues for the next twenty years, close to 30% of women will suffer from some type of anxiety disorder.
Causes of Anxiety in Women
What causes so many women to be afflicted with anxiety and depression is the question that many psychotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists are trying to answer to. The conclusion from many studies and observations on this subject is that anxiety in women is caused by multiple factors.
Traumatic event: most of women that experience anxiety have had experienced a traumatic event in their life. Death of a close one, loss of a loved one, rape, war, are all examples of a traumatic event that can trigger or cause women anxiety.
Childhood abuse: sexual, physical and emotional abuse in childhood can cause anxiety in adulthood. Children that are abused develop low self-esteem; feel unwanted, “dirty”, unloved and afraid. Fear is part of their everyday life and because of that it integrates in their personality which makes them very vulnerable.
Unwanted pregnancy: pregnancy itself is stressful and unique experience filled with excitement, worry, expectation and (for new mothers) many unknowns. Women very often feel anxious at some pint of their pregnancy and that can be normal reaction due to the hormonal change and other factors.
However if the pregnancy is unwanted anxiety is almost eminent. If the pregnancy is maintained and the baby doesn’t become wanted but remains unwanted new mother is very likely to develop some type of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder (prenatal depression).
Hormonal misbalance due to medical condition such as hyperthyroidism.
Preexisting personality defects: women with personality disorders like paranoid personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder develop some type of anxiety disorder much more often than women that don’t have personality disorder.
Maladjustment: women that are incapable to adjust to new situations, stressors, and surroundings are very likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
Signs of Anxiety in Women
Severe mood swings
Los of interest in sex
Appetite change- substantial weight gain or loss
Loss of patients
Symptoms of Anxiety in Women
Fear of going crazy
Fear of death
Obsessive and recurrent thoughts
Fear of passing out
Having thoughts about death or suicide
Tendency to predict the worst
Constant negative thinking
Fear of a specific situation, object or person
Treatment for Anxiety in Women
Anxiety in women is treated with psychotherapy alone or combined with medication. In psychotherapy woman is educated abut her disorder, she is provided with care, understanding, guidance, support and coping tool; all of which are essential for her recovery.
A side from the individual psychotherapy, family therapy or couple therapy can be very helpful in treating anxiety in women and this is why it is strongly recommended by psychotherapist.
Medication should be considered only in case of severe women anxiety. Anxiety medication is not cure for anxiety but a therapeutic tool whose goal is to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression so that the patient is capable to actively participate in psychotherapy.
Women anxiety prognosis is very optimistic provided that woman is appropriately treated for her anxiety disorder. This means that she needs to be in psychotherapy and have productive support in her family members that she lives with.