Pin Me

Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Women

written by: LDP • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 11/25/2010

Generalized anxiety disorder is more common in women than in men. The cause of GAD for both men and women is not completely known and it is usually treated with medications and psychotherapy.

  • slide 1 of 5

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Women

    Numerous studies have shown that generalized anxiety disorder is more prevalent in women than in men. In fact, some research findings state that women are two to three times more likely than men to suffer from this anxiety disorder.

    The exact cause of generalized anxiety disorder is unknown at this stage. However, many researchers believe that it's most likely a mixture of biological, environmental, psychiatric, and developmental factors.

  • slide 2 of 5

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Women: Signs, Symptoms and Treatments

    The psychological symptoms and physical symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include: uncontrollable worry (anxiety) that usually is not provoked by a rational cause.

    Someone with GAD may also suffer from muscle aches and pains, sleep disturbances and fatigue, poor digestion and they may be jump and overreact to loud noises.

    Treatment for Women with Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    Many psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, and others in the medical community agree that the best treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in conjunction with medications.

  • slide 3 of 5

    Most Common Medications for GAD

    The most common treatments include Prozac, Cymbalta and Lexapro. Tricyclic antidepressants are also prescribed, and OTC medications include Tylenol, but they have the potential to cause harm if mixed with other prescriptions drugs.

    Benzodiazepines are generally prescribed for a short period of time to help stabilize the anxiety for long enough so that the antidepressants can begin to work. Certain types of these generalized anxiety medications include Klonopin, Xanax, and Ativan.

    Another medication sometimes prescribed is Lyrica. Lyrica is popularly known for its use in Fibromyalgia but it has been found to have some of the same beneficial qualities as benzodiazepines, but without the risk of dependency or abuse.

  • slide 4 of 5

    Generalized anxiety disorder affects people in different ways; some cases are more severe than others and may require more extensive treatment, and there are some people with the condition who do not react to treatment as well as others. It is important for you to find a doctor or psychiatrist who can help you to try to figure out what triggers your worst episodes of GAD so that you can learn to cope more effectively with the situation and find the best combination of medication that will benefit you the most with the least amount of risks or dependency.

    It is unknown what the specific cause of GAD is or why generalized anxiety disorder in women is higher than in men, but one thing remains true, the condition can be controlled, even though it cannot be cured right now.

    Many people are in the same situation that you are in right now. The important thing is to educate yourself as much as possible about GAD and any new findings, as well as the latest treatment programs available to you.

  • slide 5 of 5

    Resources:

    Women's Mental Health-GAD

    http://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder.cfm

    Generalized Anxiety Publication

    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad.shtml

    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/generalized-anxiety-disorder/index.shtml