Signs of Anxiety in Women

Many women experience stress on a day-to-day basis. They worry about their careers, their families, health issues, money issues and general everyday responsibilities. Feeling anxious or stressed from time to time is normal. If you feel frequent or constant anxiety, accompanied by physical symptoms, you should see your doctor. Your doctor can provide an exact diagnosis if you have an anxiety disorder and will discuss treatment options with you.

Anxiety

Anxiety and stress can take many different forms. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is mild to moderate anxiety that lasts for at least six months. With GAD, you feel excessively worried. You probably have trouble falling asleep and you may experience fatigue, twitching, muscle aches or tension, irritability, lightheadedness, trouble breathing properly and difficulty swallowing. If you have Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), also called Social Phobia, you feel overpowering self-consciousness and uneasiness in everyday social situations. You may experience nausea, sweating, blushing and problems talking. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs due to experiencing a traumatic event and can manifest itself in flashbacks, recurring nightmares and unprovoked anger.

Panic Attacks

When you experience long-term anxiety and stress, you may also suffer from a panic attack on one or more occasions. If you experience frequent panic attacks, you may have a panic disorder. Panic attacks occur suddenly, without warning. You may feel intense fear. Your heart rate will increase rapidly. You may experience shortness of breath, hyperventilation, sweating, trembling, nausea, chills, cramps in your abdomen, chest pain, feeling faint, dizziness, headache, trouble swallowing and a tightness in the throat. It may feel as though you are having a heart attack. A typical panic attack will last about a half hour.

Elderly

It may be particularly tricky to diagnose anxiety in an elderly woman; she may not feel comfortable discussing psychiatric symptoms. Try first asking her about physical symptoms that could be a sign of an anxiety disorder. If she's experienced a racing heart or chest pain, ask her what she was doing or thinking about before it happened. If she has trouble sleeping, ask her what she thinks about while trying to fall asleep. After identifying possible physical symptoms, try to identify mental symptoms. Notice if she appears concerned or fretful over small matters. She may dwell on everyday occurrences. If an elderly person whom you are taking care of may be suffering from anxiety, discuss your concerns with her doctor.