Women, Anxiety, and Silently Suffering
But if you worry excessively about a variety of everyday problems for six months or more that could indicate that you have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder).
GAD affects about 6.8 million adult Americans but here’s the kicker: about twice as many women as men suffer from ongoing, debilitating anxiety.
Women have a tendency to dismiss anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. In 2010, Glamour reported that the average woman waits nine to 12 years after experiencing symptoms of anxiety disorder before she is properly diagnosed.
This is unacceptable.
General symptoms of GAD include feeling out of control about your health and life. You may struggle with low self-esteem and have difficulty managing pressure.
Many women report that they feel extremely nervous in many social situations and experience excessive, ongoing worry and tension.
Women with GAD also have difficulty in concentrating and are easily startled. Some individuals may experience an upset stomach and nausea and say that they need to go to the bathroom frequently.
Other symptoms of GAD include:
- Unable to relax
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Muscle tension
- Muscle aches
- Difficulty swallowing
- Feeling out of breath
- Hot flashes
- Increased blood pressure and pacing palpitations with steep rise in the heartbeats or throbbing pain in the chest
Ten Natural Ways to Handle Anxiety
- Try to remember that life is not perfect, but that’s what makes it your unique adventure.
- Get a furry diversion. A cat or dog can help reduce your anxiety.
- Write your thoughts down. Getting your hopes, dreams, and fears on paper can help you manage anxiety.
- Place both feet on the floor and breathe in through your nose and exhale out through your mouth.
- Divert your nervous energy by walking, dancing, swimming, or through some other form of physical activity.
- Face your fears; don’t fight them and don’t hide from them.
- What’s the worst thing that can happen? Drill down until you get to the very core of your fear and you will see that, in most cases, you can manage the challenge.
- Live in the moment. Notice the sights and sounds that surround you at this very moment; then breathe.
- Reach beyond yourself and do something for someone else.
- Believe in a higher power and practice meditation.
Anxiety is a complex disorder and it’s time that we talk about it more; seek help sooner; and lend support to one another.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of anxiety, please contact a medical practitioner. If you or someone you know is in need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Sources: womenshealth.gov, Huffington Post