HOW DOES ANXIETY AFFECT WOMEN


Women are known for putting others first. During the course of their lifetime, 1 in 3 women will experience anxiety. Experts believe this difference arises from a combination of hormonal fluctuations, brain chemistry and upbringing: women more often feel responsible for the happiness of others, such as their children or their spouse.

Pregnant or Postpartum Women:
Approximately 6% of pregnant women and 10% of postpartum women develop anxiety. Sometimes they experience anxiety alone, and sometimes they experience it in addition to depression. The condition often results because of a variety of triggers, including a huge hormonal shift -- estrogen and progesterone levels increase 10- to 100-fold during pregnancy, then fall to essentially zero within 24 hours of delivery. Women with a history of anxiety or depression in the family will be more prone to experience anxiety.

In addition, postpartum mothers experience sleep deprivation, changes in their relationship, and new schedules and responsibilities, including round-the-clock care of a newborn. Add to that society's expectation that this should be one of the happiest times in a new mom’s life, thus making it that much more difficult for a postpartum mother.