Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state triggered by feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness and dread, etc. It is a normal reaction to a stress that allows a person to cope with the situation during emotionally difficult time. But when when anxiety symptoms escalate or become excessive, it can lead to anxiety disorder.
Women and anxiety
Statistic shows that women experience more episodes of anxiety overall than men, especially a few days in the beginning of the menstrual cycle.
Causes of anxiety
1. Bad experience from the past
Any adverse experience from a childhood, living through a horrible experience, etc can be a cvause of anxiety as the experiences have been encoded into the brain’s amygdala and may resurface when the person is an adult.
2. Hormone change
Hormones produced by glands or organs during menstrual cycle, pregnancy or in the stage of menopause can affect the feeling of anxiety
a. PMSPre-menstrual syndrome and anxiety (PMS-A) is a result of most strongly over estrogen excess and progesterone deficiency in the luteal phase by suppressing the type A-monoamine oxidase and promoting while enhancing type B-MAO which can affect on mood and behavior significantly, such as nervous tension, drowsiness, palpitations, water retention and inability to concentrate and perform, etc.
Perimenopause is the period of time when the body is approaching menopause. It may last from two to ten years. During this time the menstrual cycle becomes irregular as the hormone levels keep fluctuating, causing some women to experience PMS-like symptoms.
In an article of Menopause and Anxiety by Cathy Taylor, posted at Consumer Health Digest, the author expressed that in what is often referred to as a ¨midlife crisis,¨ this time of life forces women to re-evaluate themselves and the role(s) they play as they are getting older. And, often times we are not comfortable with what we find. A little voice in the back of our head is saying, “If you don’t make changes now … you never will!” Our hormonal imbalances (due to decreased estrogen levels) can contribute to feelings of depression or make us feel plain ‘indifference.’ Even if menopause isn’t actually causing these conditions, it can heighten underlying anxiety and bring it to the surface.
c. Following childbirth
The severe drop in estrogen and progesterone hormones following childbirth can cause a temporary feeling of depression or anxiety. In some women, if it is prolonged, it can trigger anxiety disorder.
Women who are taking the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for treating depression have a higher risk in developing of anxiety
4.Alcohol and benzodiazepine dependency
In a study of Alcohol and benzodiazepines generate anxiety, panic and phobias by S I Cohen, researcher found that Alcohol and benzodiazepine dependencycan worsen or cause anxiety and panic attacks.
prolonged exposure to stress environment such as a serious medical illness can increase the production of certain hormones such as cortisol, GH and norepinephrine which promote anxiety.
6. Lack of oxygen
Lack to oxygen can reduce the production of serotonin hormone, that can lead to anxiety.
Increased risk of anxiety if a woman have a family history of the disease.
8. Low levels of GABA
Gaba is is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system.
In a study of The role of GABA in anxiety disorders. by Lydiard RB., reseracher concluded that further support for the role of the GABA system in anxiety by summarizing the current evidence supporting the use of novel GABAergic agents including tiagabine in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Symptoms of anxiety
Most physical and non physical symptoms existed due to inability of the person to cope with the situation during constantly emotional-difficult time when there is a presence of stress.
5. Heart palpitations
9. Trouble concentration
11. Heart palpitation
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