Welcome to the Health Game. Joining me is Mark Grant, a psychologist with over 20 years’ experience in the treatment of stress, trauma and anxiety. He’s just released an app on iTunes to help people deal with their anxiety on the spot whenever anxiety occurs. Now Mark, it was fascinating to read that women suffer more than men from anxiety. Why is that?
Women suffer from anxiety more than men for several reasons. One is that they’re probably more prone to worry about things and make sure that, I guess, everything is safe in the home. So from an evolutionary point of view, women have a more protective role. Another reason is that in modern life women are getting a lot more pressure to fulfil different roles, such as working, being a mother, being a housewife, and there’s just so much more pressure on them now. They’re also getting bombarded from advertising that they can have the perfect body and they can be successful in their career, and consequently it’s a lot of pressure on them.
So what are the key anxiety factors or triggers when it comes to women?
Women are most anxious when there’s a problem in the family or their relationships, because women are more attuned to those things. Women can also get anxious as a result of the conflicting demands of work and motherhood, just the lack of time to get everything done that needs to be done. If there’s health problems with the children or with themselves, that can make them feel anxious and, of course, if there’s a family history of anxiety.
And what effects does anxiety have on women, in their lives and also for the people around them?
Anxiety first of all inhibits the woman’s ability to enjoy life because when a person’s anxious they’re simply not attending to what’s going on; they’re worried about whether everyone’s got enough to eat or whether everyone’s happy, and they’re not really participating in what’s going on. They might be avoiding going to the supermarket or doing things that they need to do as part of their everyday lives.
Does it go misdiagnosed?
Yes, anxiety is often misdiagnosed for a variety of reasons: it can be part of a number of medical conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome or irritable bowel syndrome, and there’s a tendency to seek medical help for those physical symptoms and not talk so much about the emotional symptoms, such as anxiety.
And how can you see this app reducing stress for women? How can you see it being used in their everyday lives?
Women lead very busy, active lives so they need something they can do in the moment, that’s convenient, that gives them instant access to something that turns off the worry and tones down the physical tension. So the app gives them access to a form of stimulation that really turns off the brain activity that’s maintaining their anxiety, helps them feel relaxed and more confident to get on with doing whatever it is they have to do.
Great to chat Mark, thanks for your time. And to purchase the app just go to the iTunes store and search for “Anxiety Release” or you can check out Mark’s website which is full of great information, the address www.AnxietyRelease.com.au.
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