Many women undergo a generalized state of anxiety that can blossom into full episodes of anxiety disorders, panic attacks or phobia during times of psychological stress or biological change such as menopause. Many of them are so accustomed to living with this condition from their childhood. In fact, they don’t even realize it until they begin to experience perimenopause where their anxiety symptoms worsen. Anxiety has two components to it such as emotional and physical.
Everyone will experience anxiety from time to time in their life. Facing a challenging situation like a job interview, public speaking stint or dating can bring up anxiety feelings in 99% of women. But when these feelings appear on a constant basis and disturb your day to day activities, it is called a full-blown anxiety attack. Since the fight or flight mechanism is involved in anxiety disorder, it has a physical component too. Generalized anxiety is the major category of anxiety that affects the majority of women out there. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of generalized anxiety include irrational fear or dread, elevated heart palpitations, muscle tension, headaches, chest pain, diarrhea, IBS, stress, insomnia, shakiness, irritability, nausea, depression, tearfulness, hot flashes, sudden changes in body temperature, and a feeling of fullness.
The root cause of anxiety can arise due to a physical or emotion cause or both. The feeling always begins with a trigger that initiates a survival response from the limbic system. At the first sign of this danger, your brain chemistry, cellular metabolism, and blood hormones will jump into action. Over time, your anxiety symptoms will begin to trigger due to less and less serious events as the limbic system is already sensitized to react in a anxious way. For example, if you were constantly yelled as a child, you may feel anxious as an adult whenever there is a potential for confrontation with an authority figure.
In fact, you may go to extremes to avoid such confrontations because you don’t like to bring up those childhood feelings anymore. By this time, your conscious mind may have lost track of the connection between the childhood event and the present event. So you may wonder why you become so anxious about something that shouldn’t be a cause for anxiety.
Childhood emotional experiences are the wellspring of anxiety. These negative childhood experiences can set up a pattern of chronic anxiety in you. Childhood is a time when we are very weak in coping with the things that happen to us. We have no way of processing what happened and move on in a healthy way. All the adverse childhood events are trapped inside us. These hidden events can surface as anxiety symptoms in our adulthood. Although it might be difficult to connect to what is triggering your anxiety now, there is always a link to the past events.