Do Men and Women Experience Anxiety Differently?

Anxiety disorders– defined by excessive fear, worry avoidance of the anxiety producing stimuli can be very difficult.  Depression often is linked to anxiety and affects the mental health of many people.  It affects around 4% of the population. It is costly to the employers and the health care industry. It is estimated that it costs the US $42 billion annually.

Women experience anxiety at 2x the rate of men. This includes all types of anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, PTSD, panic disorder and agoraphobia.

Men experience anxiety. Their symptoms may be overlooked more and their presentation of symptoms often differs from women. Men are also stigmatized more for having anxiety than women are.

Anxiety and Men

Misdiagnosis by doctors: Panic attacks are often diagnosed as symptoms of heart attacks or other physical symptoms.

Use of alcohol or drugs: Many men use substances to self-medicate their symptoms of anxiety

Social factors: Men are expected to handle things in their own in our culture. It is often seen as a sign of weakness to ask for help.

Anxiety and Women

Women are often more likely to seek counseling than their male counterparts. They can also be more likely to have other comorbid mental health concerns that they are being treated for.

Hormonal fluctuations:  Women’s monthly cycle according to some researchers impact their anxiety.

Violence and Sexual Abuse: Women have higher rates of childhood sexual abuse than men. Women are more likely to deal with sexual violence as well.

Superwoman Syndrome-women are often juggling multiple tasks at once, such as parenting and work responsibilities.

Tips to Reduce Anxiety

Healthy Diet and regular exercise

Reduce technology use, don’t use technology 1 hour before bedtime.

Mindfulness techniques. There are apps you can use on your phone to help you meditate and quiet your mind.

Reduce obligations: Sometimes it’s okay to say no to people’s requests if you are unable to do what they are asking of you.

 

If you feel your anxiety is getting in the way of your functioning contact me. We can schedule an appointment to develop skills to manage your anxious feelings.