Anxiety is a common reaction to a threat, an organism’s automatic response to a fight or flight, which occurs when you encounter danger, stress, or a difficult situation. It can help you stay alert and focused, motivate you to act, and motivate you to solve problems. But when anxiety is permanent or overwhelming – when worry and fear interfere with your relationships and daily life – you may have crossed the line from general anxiety to anxiety disorder.
An estimated 264 million people worldwide suffer from anxiety disorder5. Women are almost twice as likely as men to have a diagnosis of anxiety disorder throughout life. Last year, the prevalence of any anxiety disorder was higher in women (23.4%) than in men (14.3%).
The term “anxiety disorder” refers to specific mental disorders that include extreme fear or anxiety, and includes generalized anxiety disorder. (GAD), panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, selective mutism, separation anxiety, and specific phobias.
Women and men appear to be socialized to react differently to fear: women are allowed to escape, and men are encouraged to approach.
- Women report more body-based anxiety symptoms
- In particular, women suffering from panic attacks report more breathing, fainting, and shortness of breath
- Women with OCD say that their obsessions are more often centered around cleanliness.
- The panic disorder seems to be more chronic in women
- Girls and women report more worries and separation anxiety
- Women with an anxiety disorder also tend to struggle with GAD, somatization disorder and agoraphobia
- Besides, female symptoms are different from male ones.
- The perinatal period is the period of a woman’s pregnancy and three months after birth.
- Perinatal anxiety is clinically significant anxiety that develops during pregnancy or after childbirth.
Treatment options and resources are usually the same for women and men, except for women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant. There are steps you can take to try and help her, though.
Help her understand this. Teach her to think about how she feels as if it is an obvious thing. Let her think of her feelings as if they were annoying little creatures that she could see and tell them to leave. Let her think logically about them and understand that her worries are not as bad as they seem.
Tell her about your concerns. Let her know that anxiety is a familiar feeling and that everyone sometimes experiences. Tell her some things that seldom bother you. However, keep them short and straightforward so that you do not make her worry about your worries.
Change her lifestyle. Lifestyle changes include giving up caffeine, regular exercise, and giving up medications or substances that can cause anxiety symptoms.
Use mind-body approaches. Take a mind-body approach, such as deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and techniques, to ease muscle tension and promote calm.
Talk to someone. The best way to solve this problem is to talk with someone trained to deal with anxiety disorders. You are her parent, but if you are a licensed therapist, you must leave him an unbiased professional. Your daughter will take it more seriously if she hears from a therapist, not from her mother, even if you are a therapist!