Throughout history, anxiety symptoms in women have been overlooked or dismissed as character flaws. Because of this, women today still feel the stigma when they think that they will not be taken seriously.
Unfortunately, when women exhibit symptoms of anxiety disorders, they are thought to be having a mood swing or are labelled as bossy or worse. Women are taught that they should be able to cope with heavy situations with a smile, that expressing any fear or vulnerability is a sign of weakness, and that they should always be in a good mood regardless of the situations that are being put in front of them. Women are taught to be cheerleaders, nurturers, and supporters, yet for many they have no one to cheer for them, nurture them, and support them when they feel anxious or depressed.
Some common anxiety symptoms in women that affect them differently than men are given below. You can also read our article about symptoms of anxiety in children here.
Shyness is considered a weak character trait in the west. Women who are shy are usually looked at as timid and unsure of themselves.
Women who are seen as vulnerable are usually painted as the victim. They are told to “get themselves together”.
Like vulnerability, women who are fearful are usually seen as someone who has been victimized. Many times, women’s fears are passed over or thought of us silly or senseless.
If a woman is irritable, it is typically associated with her “time of the month”. If she is chronically irritable she is labelled as an unpleasant person. The underlying issues of her irritability are never looked at or of concern. The only focus is that she is irritable, therefore problematic to everyone around her.
Many women feel guilty about feeling hopeless. Women are told that they must smile and put on a brave front for everyone around them—their husbands, their children, and sometimes even their parents. Women are also more prone to feelings of hopelessness because they tend to overexert themselves. Not saying no and trying to appease everyone will lead to you feeling that you can get nothing done at all.
Not Feeling Rested
When they wake up still feeling tired, many women dismiss their exhaustion for having to wear too many hats. Many women are caregivers, manage the organization of their homes, and work full time. By not recognizing their lethargy as a sign of anxiety or depression, many women go undiagnosed and try to self-medicate their tiredness.
Another symptom that is women dismiss is having a blank mind. Many women will see this as them being scatter brained or blame their lack of concentration on hormones.
Unfortunately, many women will go untreated for their anxiety and depression. They decide that coping with these symptoms are sometimes better than the actual diagnosis itself. Luckily, in today’s society anxiety and depression are seen as situations that bypass gender and ethnicity. If you have an ongoing bout with any of these symptoms, talk to your health care professional about the possibility of having chronic anxiety and depression.