Anxiety: More Women Deal With Anxiety Compared to Men

Introduction

Women deal with higher levels of anxiety disorder compared to men. They go through panic and anxiety disorder. In many instances, anxiety in women often increases with hormonal fluctuation. People with anxiety are identified as having intense and excessive worry and fear. These emotions affect both the mental and physical health of individuals. The symptoms are hard to control; they also bring about distress and have long-lasting symptoms when they go untreated. University of Cambridge (2016) noted that anxiety can increase the chances of an individual committing suicide or going into depression. Anxiety cases make up for some of the most common mental health issues worldwide. More than 42 billion employees in the healthcare system are affected by anxiety yearly. Anxiety issues bring about severe deterrence to the way one carries out one’s daily activities. It also impacts how an individual deals with social, personal, and work life. Mental Health Foundation (n.d) highlighted that, on average, 37.1% of women while 29.9% of men indicated high records of anxiety between 2022 and 2023. In comparison to 2015, there is a rise in anxiety records from 21.8% of women, while there are 18.3% of men reported having to deal with high levels of anxiety. It is, therefore, essential to analyze why more women than men are affected by anxiety while studying how it affects their mental and physical health.

Women go through several reproductive events throughout their lives; these events are linked to hormonal fluctuations, which are directly linked to their level of anxiety. Wdowiak et al. (2022) highlighted that a woman’s reproductive health affects their reproductive capacity. Therefore, a woman’s emotional well-being generally affects their ovulation and their chances of getting pregnant. Emotional disorders arise as a result of several events that are likely to take place in the life of an individual. With increased level of anxiety, women’s fertility and general reproductive health is affected. Women have to deal with a lot of hormonal changes throughout their lives compared to men, which brings about a lot of anxiety in women. Hormonal changes throughout this cycle influence women’s behaviors, emotions, and behaviors. Women are often dealing with issues of infertility or when they will get pregnant. When they do get pregnant, they are worried about the birth process and many other things that pertain to the baby. Therefore, the general cycle of a woman brings about a lot of hormonal changes that affect their anxiety.

During pregnancy, women have to deal with high levels of progesterone and oestrogen. These two hormones can bring about compulsive disorder, which includes repetitive and disturbing thoughts that are strongly linked to anxiety. Silva et al. (2017) noted that during pregnancy, women go through a lot of psychic, physiological, and social changes that bring about much emotional distress. 26.8% of pregnant women deal with anxiety during pregnancy. Some women go through moments of satisfaction, happiness, and self-fulfillment. However, a percentage of women deal with mental issues, including anxiety. Research indicates that there is limited evidence concerning prenatal anxiety compared to prenatal depression. During the pregnancy period, anxiety symptoms are pretty prevalent. Research shows that when pregnant women have increased stress, a history of abortion, social disadvantages, and any loss, they are likely to deal with anxiety (Silva et al., 2017).

Further, the author highlighted that the mental state of a woman is likely to influence the way the baby develops. Anxiety brings about significant risks to the general development of a baby. Anxiety during pregnancy is a huge factor that may bring about postpartum depression. This is another considerable factor that makes women more prone to dealing with anxiety in comparison to men.

Other than the different biological processes that women go through, men and women often go through similar experiences but respond differently. Women are easily susceptible to dealing with stress. This brings an increase in their anxiety. When dealing with stress, women are more likely to think critically about an issue compared to men, who look for solutions and problem-solving mechanisms. Some things that lead to increased stress in women are the different roles and responsibilities they play in society (Hantsoo & Epperson, 2017). They are expected to take care of their families, care for children and older adults, and go to work. As the demands continually increase, women often have to deal with the pressure that comes with it and the different unmet obligations. Women are nurturing beings, and they are likely to spend a considerable percentage of their time caring for other people rather than caring for themselves. As the pressure and stress continue to rise, so does their anxiety and other psychological disorders. This has a massive effect on their mental and physical well-being.

Conclusion

Anxiety symptoms are depicted differently between women and men. Women have been shown to have higher chances of dealing with anxiety. The lifecycle of a woman is made up of hormonal fluctuations such as puberty, pregnancy, postpartum, and even menopause. All the different phases are accompanied by stress and emotional strain. This essay analyzed why women are likely to deal with anxiety compared to men. Their biological nature and the different responsibilities society has placed on them make it difficult to move through life stress-free. Society expects so much from women, which puts pressure on them, leading to anxiety and other mental disorders. However, there is a need for further research to be conducted on anxiety that develops during pregnancy. The people around pregnant women should help to ease their stress and pressure instead increasing it. This will consequently lead to reduced cases of anxiety in pregnant women. Anxiety is likely to affect the health of the unborn baby and even the relationship between both partners. Women are more prone to dealing with anxiety due to the above-stated reasons. Physicians must look into this matter closely because of a considerable research gap.

References

Hantsoo, L., & Epperson, C. N. (2017). Anxiety disorders among women: A female lifespan approach. Focus (American et al.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5613977/

Mental Health Foundation. (n.d.). Anxiety: Statistics. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/statistics/anxiety-statistics

Silva, M. M. D. J., Nogueira, D. A., & Clapis, M. J. (2017). Anxiety in pregnancy: Prevalence and associated factors. ResearchGate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319308667_Anxiety_in_pregnancy_Prevalence_and_associated_factors

University of Cambridge. (2016, June 10). Opinion: Women are far more anxious than men. https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/discussion/opinion-women-are-far-more-anxious-than-men-heres-the-science

Wdowiak, A., Makara-Studzinska, M., Raczkiewicz, D., & Cyranka, K. (2022). Reproductive problems and intensity of anxiety and depression in women treated for infertility. ResearchGate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/359354780_Reproductive_problems_and_intensity_of_anxiety

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Author: John Gromada
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