According to a review released by the journal of Brain and Behavior, women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from anxiety than men, particularly women 35 years old and younger.
The problem has become so pervasive and so disproportionate that researchers are requesting more resources to gain further data into the matter. An anxiety gap is evident, however science has yet to determine exactly why.
Globally, North America is most negatively impacted with eight in every 100 people having anxiety in comparison with East Asia who only reports every three out of 100 people with anxiety. Such research is crucial specifically in regards to already marginalized groups like women, where gaps in data often exist. “Anxiety disorders affect a lot of people and can lead to impairment, disability, and risk of suicide,” states Dr. Louise Lafortune of Cambridge Institute of Public Health.
Although many groups have examined this important topic, significant gaps in research remain.” In a study published last year, “Examining Sex and Gender Differences in Anxiety Disorders,” results concluded girls are constantly more anxious than boys.
While there are variations of parenting methods, behavior techniques, and medical options to help decrease anxiety for young girls, these are only band-aids to the problem. Without tackling the programming and messaging for girls of perfection and confidence, it will be difficult to dispel the anxiety.
Anxiety does not live in a vacuum – it is often linked with other battles with mental health and health problems overall. For example, “around one in ten adults (10.9 percent) with cardiovascular disease and living in Western countries are affected by generalized anxiety disorder,” with women showing even higher anxiety levels than men.
While we may not know why women are more likely to experience anxiety just yet – we can confirm it’s a problem, and most notably a common one. The key is to remember you are not alone. The quicker we can realize this, the quicker we can support one another and work towards worry free lives.