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Common and Uncommon Causes of Anxiety in Adult Women

Anxiety can be described as a psychological state that is characterized by the intense, persistent feelings of worry, tension, and nervousness. Anxiety disorders occur two times more in women than in men. These disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. It should be noted that anxiety, like many other health conditions, is typically caused by a combination of factors, such as genetic, environmental, and developmental. It is important to be aware of both the common and uncommon causes of anxiety, as well as helpful treatments.

Common and Uncommon Causes of Anxiety in Adult Women

Common Causes

In many cases, at least one of the following factors contributes to the presence of anxiety symptoms:

1

Hormone Fluctuations

This is one of the primary causes of anxiety disorders in adult women. Women experience hormone fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Older women going through the menopause transition are at a higher risk of experiencing anxiety because estrogen levels fluctuate, decrease, and then stay consistently low during the menopause transition.

2

Excessive stress

High stress - either at work or at home - is another leading anxiety trigger. It is important to manage stress in order to prevent anxiety episodes.

3

Genetics

Those with a family history of anxiety are at a higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder.

4

Certain medications

Anxiety is a potential side effect of many prescription medications, like oral contraceptives and antidepressant medication.

5

Emotional trauma

Experiencing emotional trauma - like the death of a loved one or witnessing a traumatic event - can induce an anxiety disorder.

Uncommon Causes

While these causes are not always to blame, some of these could play a role in anxiety.

1

Heart conditions

Heart conditions and other major illnesses can bring about anxiety because of the stresses of medical bills and the physical symptoms experienced.

2

Previous abuse

Sexual, physical, or emotional abuse as an adolescent can cause severe anxiety disorders in adults.

3

Overwhelming public situations

Things like a crowded train or a large social gatherings can cause anxiety episodes, especially in sufferers of social phobia.

Treatment Options

While making lifestyle changes like exercising and eating healthy can help ease some of symptoms of anxiety, getting professional help is also recommended. Anxiety is a mental disorder and should be treated as such. Talking to a therapist and prescription medication can help treat anxiety in adult women. Anxiety can interfere with your ability to carry out every day activities and affect personal relationships. On average, anxiety affects 40 million Americans, occurring two times more in women than in men. This can be linked to the hormone fluctuations experienced during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause. Seeking professional help, exercising regularly, and maintain a healthy diet can be helpful in treating anxiety.

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Sources:
  • National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved September 23, 2014, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
  • Office on Women's Health. (2012). Anxiety disorders fact sheet. Retrieved September 23, 2014, from http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/anxiety-disorders.html