Women and Anxiety - What makes one gender more prone than the other?


Any men or women suffering from depression, anxiety or any other mental disorder should not lose hope as safe and effective women’s and men’s mental health treatments are easily accessible. When it comes to women’s mental health, the likelihood of experiencing anxiety is double as compared to men. There are some groups of women more vulnerable to anxiety disorder.

There are different types of anxiety disorder but the feeling of uneasiness is common in all types. Mild or severe worry or fear affecting daily life is pretty common in women suffering from anxiety disorder. Too much of anxiety in life can even take over your life. The sufferer is said to have a generalized anxiety disorder.

Physical conditions, stress, hormonal imbalance and genetic background are the factors known for triggering anxiety disorder. Young people, women and individuals suffering from chronic diseases are also likely to suffer from anxiety disorder. It has been found in researches conducted across countries that the number of women suffering from this mental disorder is double. Researchers are working on further researches to learn more about this mental disorder. They are investigating to find out interventions that can provide the greatest results. In addition to finding better treatments, the goal is to find the prevalence of this women’s mental health both in developing and underdeveloped nations. Numbers are hard to find due to lack of representation in some underdeveloped parts of the world.          

Here it is important to keep in mind that anxiety is not always a mental disorder. It is completely normal having the feeling of anxiety at certain times. Anxiety becomes a disorder when it starts affecting your life. See a doctor if anxiety starts causing distress.

But, Who Did The Study?

The researchers from the Westminster City Council and the University of Cambridge carried out this study. The UK National Institute of Health Research funded this research. The clinical journal Brain and Behaviour published this study.

The Times and the Mail Online claim that there are multiple causes of anxiety disorder in younger women. Being a working mother is one of these causes. However, this claim is not based on hard evidence. This claim is based on opinions.

However, the goal of the study by the Westminster City Council and the University of Cambridge was to collect pieces of evidence from systematic reviews. They studied the prevalence of this disorder. They studied the burden of this disorder across subgroups.

Researchers are holding anxiety disorder responsible for impairment to quality of life. This can also lead to significant disability. Researchers stress on better mental health services for women across the globe. There are many studies conducted in the past. However, this is the first one attempting to provide a comprehensive idea of the burden of anxiety across the globe. This study is based on systematic reviews presenting the highest level of evidence. The study has included reviews using different methods. Researchers have examined populations and also considered some other credible studies.  


What Was Involved In The Study?

They searched the three most reliable literature databases to get systematic reviews reporting the global burden of anxiety. Reviews included individuals with psychiatric conditions, chronic or infectious disease, addiction and other mental or medical health conditions. They also included reviews from populations more vulnerable to anxiety disorder. However, they did not include reviews covering anxiety disorders such as social anxiety, generalized anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. They did not include reviews on anxiety treatment.

Two of the researchers did the quality assessment of the reviews. They figured out whether a review and extracted data are eligible or not. They included studies conducted on people of all ages. They examined studies on anxiety disorder from young children to seniors. These studies were of varying sizes. The anxiety assessment methods were also different in different studies. In some studies, there were structured interviews. In some studies, there were unstructured interviews. Some studies collected information from self-reported questionnaires.

What Were The Results?

In order to get a complete picture of how this disorder is globally distributed, they included results from 48 studies. Some of the major results are:

  • The prevalence of this disorder in healthy men and women ranges from 3% to 25%.

  • Female:male ratio of anxiety disorder is 1.9:1. This clearly shows that anxiety disorder is way more common in women. The ratio remains the same across different countries. The same goes for men and women having co-existing health conditions.    

  • 2.5% to 9.1% of the young adults with age less than 35 years are affected by anxiety disorder.

  • The prevalence of this mental disorder is the highest in the Middle East, North America and South America.    

  • The prevalence of anxiety disorder is the lowest in East Asia.  

The researchers described the prevalence based on the five common themes including:

  • Addiction

  • Chronic physical diseases

  • Mental and neurological disorders

  • Vulnerable subgroups of the population

  • Trauma

The researchers found that the prevalence of anxiety disorder was higher in people having chronic conditions. The prevalence ranged from 1.4% to 70%.  


How Did They Interpret The Results?

The researchers concluded that despite epidemiological developments in this field, still many important areas were not explored. They recognized the need for further research in the area of the prevalence of this disorder. Recommendations provided by the researchers can serve the purpose of a guide for the research agenda. This can help in timely and tailored interventions.


This study funded by The UK National Institute of Health Research gathered evidence-based data from 48 studies. They had a significant amount of data to study the global prevalence of this mental disorder. This also highlighted the demand for better treatment across the globe.

Anxiety is one of the most common women’s mental health issues. There are treatment centers offering women’s mental health treatments. These treatments are entirely based on the needs of the patient. Therapists offer extremely personalized treatments including a wide range of therapies for improving physical and mental health of the individual with anxiety disorder. However, the individual should keep in mind that anxiety disorder does not occur due to life events and some mental conditions only, bad lifestyle also leads to the development of anxiety disorder. Your unhealthy habits can interfere with the treatment as well.

This article was originally featured on the Gooden Center Website.

You're probably thinking — why now?

I guess the first question is why now?  Why am I publicly discussing my depression?  It's not really what I had in mind when I emailed Jose.  I saw one of his posts about Creatives Against Depression, and what caught my attention immediately was the tag line, "you are NOT alone."  For a number of years, I've had a desire to support the cause of depression awareness as a way to honor the incredibly compassionate professionals who helped me overcome my depression.  That tag line rang the bell for me.  I reached out to Jose to ask if I could help in any way, and he asked for a post about my experience with depression.  I'm not wild about the idea of glorifying my past suffering, but I'm not even remotely ashamed of it either — except, I used to be, when I thought I was alone.

If you suffer from depression, you've got that awful loop of negative feedback playing over and over in your mind.  You're a piece of shit.  Nobody else could be THIS fucked up.  If those other people with their Barbie Doll minds could see inside your head, they'd, Christ you can't even cope with the thought of it.

One counselor (whom I wish I could thank publicly), set me on the road to recovery with one simple revelation.  She let me in on the secret that everyone is fucked up.  You've heard that a lot of times, I know.  Everyone's got their shit.  But you don't really believe that their shit is as bad as yours.  They're just regular fucked up.  You're a freak.  This one counselor knew I wouldn’t believe her at first.  She knew that my disbelief was what stood between me and recovery.  She walked me through credible examples of abomination in other people's lives and thoughts, stayed with it enough to plant the seed of belief in my mind.  She handed me a map.  Recovery is a long and brutal road.  I did not fully appreciate the importance of that map early on.  But looking back, I’m certain I would not have found the road at all without her guidance. 


'If you suffer from depression, you've got that awful loop of negative feedback playing over and over in your mind.  You're a piece of shit.  Nobody else could be THIS fucked up.'


Fast forward.  I've changed jobs, I'm a partner hired away from one law firm to join another.  I'm pretty well known and respected in my community.  I've worked my ass off to keep my depression a secret.  My new law firm wants to buy a life insurance policy on my head, and I need to sit with another very high profile financial professional from my small city to answer his questions for the policy application.  He's been hired by my new partners.  He's doing them a favor.  A term life policy is way below his pay grade.  He's going to get all of my medical information, and when the application is denied because of my history of depression, he's going to have to tell my new partners why.  And, worse yet, he knows everyone I know in the business community.  I'm screwed.

We sit down in a conference room, we get through the basic stuff, and we dig into the medical history questions.  He can tell I'm freaking out.  He says I have to answer everything honestly or coverage can be denied, so I do.  After handing it over reluctantly, he starts to read then puts down his pen.  He tells me about the time he was naked on his kitchen floor sobbing and his wife had to pick him up off the floor.  He tells me he didn't think he would get better, but he's clearly proud that he did, and it's clear he's impressed that I did too.  I had become an avid cyclist because endorphins offset depression, and my overall health was excellent.  My application was approved with a preferred rating.  That seed of belief had now fully flowered.

I've had three bouts of depression in all over the course of 15 years.  Counseling, an insanely patient primary care doctor (whom I also wish I could thank publicly), and, most fortunately for me, good response to medication (take the fucking meds), have all played a role in my recovery.  But if I had not been given that map, that knowledge that I am actually not alone, that everyone is a freak, I'd be dead.  With each succeeding episode of depression, I built on that belief, and each recovery was quicker and more complete than the last. 

It's really true. You are not alone. Put that in your feedback loop.


P.S.  In case you are THAT sick as you’re reading this:  I’m really, really glad I’m not dead.  When you recover, you will enjoy a life so filled with gratitude, and so free of the fear of death, that the simplest daily experiences will be joyful, and the memorable moments will seem like miracles, which is exactly how we are meant to feel.

Everyone Needs Perspective: Don't Fret When You're Not Successful Yet

With all the entrepreneur/hustle/millionaire social accounts, we all think we're going to be millionaires by our mid-twenties. But truth is, that's not really ever the case and we all need a little perspective sometimes:

  • At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.
  • At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.
  • At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.
  • At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.
  • At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.
  • At age 28, Wayne Coyne (from The Flaming Lips) was a fry cook.
  • At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.
  • At age 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker.
  • At age 37, Ang Lee was a stay-at-home-dad working odd jobs.
  • Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51.
  • Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.
  • Stan Lee didn’t release his first big comic book until he was 40.
  • Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career to pursue acting at age 42.
  • Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get his first movie role until he was 46.
  • Morgan Freeman landed his first MAJOR movie role at age 52.
  • Kathryn Bigelow only reached international success when she made The Hurt Locker at age 57.
  • Grandma Moses didn’t begin her painting career until age 76.
  • Louise Bourgeois didn’t become a famous artist until she was 78.

Whatever your dream is, it is not too late to achieve it. You aren’t a failure because you haven’t found fame and fortune by the age of 21. Hell, it’s okay if you don’t even know what your dream is yet. Even if you’re flipping burgers, waiting tables or answering phones today, you never know where you’ll end up tomorrow.

Never tell yourself you’re too old to make it.
Never tell yourself you missed your chance.
Never tell yourself that you aren’t good enough.
You can do it. Whatever it is!

Ronda Rousey Discusses Suicidal Thoughts After Loss To Holly Holm

Ronda Rousey Discusses Suicidal Thoughts After Loss To Holly Holm

Ronda Rousey opened up about her thoughts after her stunning loss to Holly Holm last November, surprising a lot of people with how candid she was.

The former Champion appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday, and spoke about the moments following the fight.

Shining Light on Depression: An Often Dismissed Struggle Any Creative Can Face

Shining Light on Depression: An Often Dismissed Struggle Any Creative Can Face

When I approached my good friend, Jaleel King, about writing a piece on him for Fstoppers, which I was a staff writer for, it wasn't until we met and started chatting about everything that I realized my original direction of just a highlight piece wasn't enough. We needed to talk about the struggle he was experiencing with depression.