Anxiety Disorders in Women


Anxiety Disorders in Women

Although occasional or daily anxiety is common, anxiety disorders are marked by intense, unceasing feelings and symptoms of worry that may worsen over time.

Categories of Anxiety Disorders

Symptoms often interfere significantly with social relationships at home, work, and school. Anxiety disorders go beyond temporary apprehension, fear of making a big decision, or taking a test at school or work. They often co-occur as women misuse alcohol and drugs to cope.


Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Women with GAD display excessive anxiety or worry about loved ones, health, work, social interactions, and everyday life tasks. GAD symptoms are difficult to control, occur most days over six months, and may include:

  • Restless, tense, or edgy feelings
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Brain fog
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Inability to fall asleep
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia

Panic Disorder

Panic attacks are rapid, intense bouts of fear that peak within a few minutes. They are also one of the most common anxiety disorders in women. Women with panic disorders suffer from frequent unanticipated and debilitating panic attacks in response to a particular situation, object, or person.

Symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Accelerated or pounding heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Shaking
  • Visual disturbances
  • Shortness of breath, choking, or smothering
  • Feelings of impending disaster
  • Feelings of no control

After a panic attack, women may avoid specific situations, social interactions, behaviors, or places leading to additional problematic anxiety.

Phobia-related Disorders

Among the many anxiety disorders in women are phobia-related issues. A phobia is an extreme fear or aversion to specific things or situations. Phobias create anxiety out of proportion to the danger. Specific or simple phobias include the fear of heights, airplanes, animals, insects, reptiles, or blood.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

The fear of separation from a person you are attached to and an underlying fear that something detrimental will happen to that person is known as a separation anxiety disorder, another one of the many common anxiety disorders. Women may avoid being alone and experience nightmares of attachment figures. Stomach pain and headaches may appear when the separation occurs.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Intense fear of public situations such as in the classroom or workplace are symptoms experienced by someone with a social anxiety disorder. These women often avoid social situations and feel isolated. Public performance pressure can be extreme.


Women with agoraphobia will have an extreme fear of two or more of the following situations:

  • Enclosed spaces
  • Open spaces
  • Public transportation
  • Being outside of the home
  • Lines or crowds of people

In extreme cases, women with agoraphobia may become unable to leave their homes due to fear.

Anxiety Disorders in Women: Integrated Treatment Is Key

An approach like the one provided by Hannah’s House includes comprehensive therapeutic resources to help a woman heal physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Some anxiety disorders are not apparent until active addiction sets in, while others may precede the onset.


Comprehensive treatment should include:

  • Ongoing psychiatric services
  • Medical care and appropriate medication
  • Family education
  • Life skills training
  • Spiritual care services
  • Continuing care planning
  • Evidence-based therapies
  • Case Management

At Hannah’s House, our individualized treatment plans take a person’s total well-being in mind by addressing the health of their body, mind, and spirit. The treatment of co-occurring anxiety disorders in women must coincide, in the exact location, and with the same treatment team to be effective.

In our multidisciplinary, medically intensive program, highly trained professionals offer the simultaneous treatment of co-occurring anxiety disorders. One-on-one sessions with their primary therapists and detailed clinical interviews lay the groundwork for developing an individual treatment plan.

Women Can and Do Recover

With the proper approach, women succeed in leading lives filled with hope and courage.  Hannah’s House recognizes that recovery from co-occurring anxiety and substance use disorders consists of treatment to address mental, physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Start your journey to freedom by calling the Hannah’s House team at 561.841.1272.