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Women and Stress: Anxiety Disorders Causes and Symptoms

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Any person who has ever had an anxiety attack knows just how terrifying it can be. Abruptly and without any warning the heart starts pounding, you feel nauseous and dizzy, and you just want to move away from the area where the anxiety attack strikes. Symptoms of the attack in women normally vary, depending on the harshness of the episode.

During extreme severe attacks, you may become disconnected, feel like you are losing control of your environment, or even feel like dying. However, stress is a natural and normal phenomenon of the body that responds to both bad and good situations. Hormonal imbalances which normally occur as a result of stress are very common and researchers have diagnosed and refer to it as Adrenal fatigue. Anxiety symptoms are caused generally due to stress and women are more prone to this situation as compared to men.

Professionals believe that over 80% of women who are married are working and also double up as homemakers. They are laden with household chores and at the same time, strain to prove themselves that they can perform as well as men. These stressful and continuous conditions normally lead to anxiety.

Before the development in medical science, physiologists and researchers believed that stress is due to emotional problems. But, when more detailed and specific research was conducted, scientists discovered many causes of anxiety and better way of dealing with them before they become a definite disorder.

Anxiety symptoms in women as a result of stress lead to;

  • Constant tension which does not allow them to focus on other activities
  • Always fearful that something bad may happen
  • Apprehensiveness
  • Aggressiveness
  • Being socially inactive and loneliness
  • Amenorrhea, anorexia and insomnia.

Biologically women are more vulnerable to anxiety as a result of a number of stages in their life cycle like during the early stages of menopause, during other hormonal stages and pre and post-delivery periods.

What exactly triggers anxiety disorders and symptoms in women? Although some anxiety attacks are normally isolated episodes which are triggered by stress, majority of symptoms have underlying issues which needs instant attention. Even though, anxiety and stress symptoms are closely linked, anxiety symptoms can be caused by others factors apart from stress which may lead to more severe mental conditions, like anxiety disorder or panic disorder. If you want to stop being anxious and live a normal and social life, your first step should be to know the causes of your attacks.

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So, what exactly are the anxiety causes? As with any other emotional symptoms, the beginning of the development or an attack of an anxiety disorder can be linked to a combination of various factors.

These factors include;

  • Your outlook on life
  • physiological factors,
  • your personality,
  • ways of thinking and your mindset,
  • Your biological vulnerabilities and social stressors.

In a biological term, anxiety attacks takes place when the body’s flight or fight response fails. The flight or fight response is the body’s alarm system. It is normally controlled by a complicated set of physical and mental mechanisms which when faced with a pending threat in our environment, prepare us to respond to the eminent danger.

We are inherently designed to save ourselves and to stay away from situations which could pose dangers to our physical or emotional well-being. When we are faced with threats, our ‘fight or flight’ response is activated, and prepares us to take ‘flight’ and flee from it or ‘fight’ the danger. When the response is unnecessarily triggered, without any rational threat in the environment, people have an anxiety attack.

Even though, it is not quite clear why the response sometimes misfires in some of us, what scientists are familiar with is that some women are more vulnerable than other women. One main factor is genetics. Researchers have found that genes sometimes play a huge role in the advancement of these conditions, and it tends to run in various families, and that one twin is particularly susceptible if the other twin has had anxiety attack in her past. Even though, these researches suggest strong connections between a woman’s gene and her anxiety attack symptoms, there are a lot of women with no family history of anxiety attack symptoms who have developed this disorder.

Women anxiety symptoms were once seen as being purely emotional, but today, after many years of research, we know that anxiety attack symptoms have real physiological causes. Among the most common physiological causes of anxiety attack in women is hormonal imbalance. Others causes include thyroid problems, digestive imbalance and adrenal imbalance.

Social causes of anxiety attack are one of the most important factors which can be studied from a social standpoint. Adults or adolescents who have been sexually or physically abused at a tender age are the most vulnerable to panic and develop other anxiety disorders later in their life.

If a woman has already suffered from another mental disease, the possibility of experiencing panic disorder is greater. In such people, the initial attack is normally triggered by stress, a life-changing event, a major physical ailment or taking medication which stimulates the brain that control fear reactions.

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Women and Stress: Anxiety Disorders Causes and Symptoms. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 25, 2023, from
“Women and Stress: Anxiety Disorders Causes and Symptoms.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
Women and Stress: Anxiety Disorders Causes and Symptoms. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Sept. 2023].
Women and Stress: Anxiety Disorders Causes and Symptoms [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2023 Sept 25]. Available from:
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