5 Ways Anxiety Looks Different In Women Vs. Men

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Anxiety looks different in men and women - and not in the ways you might think.

Both societal expectations and biology may cause high-functioning anxiety disorder to manifest differently in men and women.

According to Dr. Jeff Nalin, a clinical psychologist and the founder of Paradigm Malibu treatment center, "Studies have linked hormonal differences with stress and anxiety, as women experience greater hormone level fluctuations, which can affect mood." He says about men, “Very often, men tend to respond to stress by holding in their feelings or conversely by lashing out with bursts of anger and irritability.”

So here are 5 ways anxiety in women looks different than it does in men.

  1. Feeling “on edge.” Stress causes elevated levels of cortisol and adrenaline, so women can become jumpy, irritable, or easily startled. Make sure you get plenty of sleep to combat this feeling.
  2. Experiencing physical symptoms. Women are more likely to have somatic symptoms like shortness of breath, aches and pains, heart palpitations, headaches, and even low energy. One doctor says that societal expectations may worsen these physical symptoms. Try to make healthy lifestyle changes to reduce these effects.
  3. Having obsessive thoughts. Research has shown that women are more likely to react to anxiety by ruminating. A good solution to this one? Therapy.
  4. Not being able to sleep. Women are particularly susceptible to this because of the constant balancing act of being a partner, career person, caretaker, and so on.
  5. Worrying about loved ones. Since society often views women as the caretakers, women tend to be more worried and anxious about the people in their lives.

While anyone can experience anxiety, knowing how it looks can make it easier to keep the disorder at bay.

For more information on anxiety, watch our original series Understanding the Anxious Self with Dr. Ramani. I’m Kyle Kittleson, and remember, whatever you’re going through, you got this.

Source: Bustle


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