Who suffers from Anxiety?

Gender difference in the diagnosis and prevalence anxiety

According to statistics, from the time a woman goes through puberty to approximately 50 years of age, there is double the chance that she will suffer from an anxiety disorder than her male counterpart. Additionally, it has been found that women are more likely to suffer from an anxiety disorder earlier in their life time than men. There are a number of theories as to why this gender difference in the prevalence of anxiety may occur.

There are differences in male and female brain chemistry and processing networks, the fight or flight response is the body’s physiological reaction to stress. Scientific examination of the reactions in men and women have found that the fight or flight response in women is more readily activated and stays activated within the body for a longer period of time than in men. This has been partly attributed to the actions of female hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Subsequently; anxiety is more likely to prevail in women rather than men.

Onset age and prevalence of anxiety has also been explored. Men are more likely to suffer from performance anxiety than women and are more at risk of suffering from stress or burnout later in their careers.

It has also been statistically proven that women are more likely to suffer from multiple psychiatric disorders during their life time, a status known as co-morbidity, anxiety is most likely to co-occur with depression.

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