Download our Women & Anxiety, Depression, and Co-occurring Disorders infographic.
ADAA is delighted to announce that we have received a grant from the hope & grace fund, a project of New Venture Fund in partnership with philosophy, inc.” The grant allows ADAA to launch an exciting new initiative “Turning a Laser-Focus on Women’s Issues in the Treatment of Anxiety, Depression and Related Disorders.” Click here to learn more about the hope & grace initiative.
Women & Anxiety, Depression, and Co-Occurring Disorders
Anxiety disorders are illnesses that involve more than temporary worry, stress, or fear. It can interfere with daily activities such as work, school, and relationships. From the time a girl reaches puberty until about the age of 50, she is twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder as a man. Anxiety disorders also occur earlier in women than in men.
- Listen to this podcast on Anxiety Disorders in Women to learn more.
Most people feel low and sad at times. However, in the case of individuals who are diagnosed with depression as a psychiatric disorder, the manifestations of the low mood are much more severe and they tend to persist. Some differences in the manner in which the depressed mood manifests has been found based on sex and age. Depression occurs more often in women than men. In men it manifests often as tiredness, irritability and anger. They may show more reckless behavior and abuse drugs and alcohol. They also tend to not recognize that they are depressed and fail to seek help. In women depression tends to manifest as sadness, worthlessness, and guilt.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
PMDD is another manifestation of depression which is a severe and sometimes disabling extension of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Although regular PMS and Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) both have physical and emotional symptoms, the mood changes in PMDD are much more severe and can disrupt social, occupational, and other important areas of functioning. In both PMDD and PMS, symptoms usually begin seven to 10 days before the start of a menstrual period and continue for the first few days of the period. Both PMDD and PMS may also cause breast tenderness, bloating, fatigue, and changes in sleep and eating habits. PMDD is characterized by emotional and behavioral symptoms that are more severe, such as sadness or hopelessness, anxiety or tension, extreme moodiness, irritability or anger.
Unique to women is postpartum depression, or PPD, which is depression associated with pregnancy. About 13 percent of women may experience the condition between a week and a month after delivery; 30 to 70 percent experience symptoms for one year or longer.
It is estimated that as many as 3 to 5 percent of new mothers will experience symptoms of postpartum OCD.
About 9 percent of women experience postpartum PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) following childbirth.
Treatment options and resources are usually the same for women as men, with the exception of women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. Anxiety can worsen, improve, or stay the same during pregnancy, and that may affect treatment.
- Learn about medication use during pregnancy.
ADAA's Blog Posts
- Women and Depression
- Diverse Women in Clinical Trials: Making a Difference
- Be There for Women Veterans in Your Community
- Child Mind Institute
- Food and Drug Administration Office of Women's Health provides these links:
- Depression—Medicines to Help You. Use this information to help you talk to your doctor.
- Women in Clinical Trials: Why should women participate in clinical trials? Medical products can affect men and women differently. Sometimes women have different side effects. It is important that women participate to show if products are safe and work well in both men and women. En Español
- Pregnancy Registries: Many women need to take medicine while they are pregnant. Enrolling in a pregnancy exposure registry can help improve safety information for medicines used during pregnancy and can be used to update drug labeling. Learn more about how you can help.
- Free publications on a variety of health topics in English, Spanish, and other languages.
- National Women's Health Resource Center