Anxiety In Girls Has Increased Over 55% –

Anxiety In Girls Has Increased Over 55% –

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I first started having anxiety attacks in my late teens. I was 19, and it was around the time of my father’s death. They always happened in the evenings, right when I was trying to go to sleep. It felt like there was a tremendous weight in my stomach, and no matter what I did, what I told myself, I felt terrified. But there wasn’t anything to be terrified about. I was home, in my bed.

Everything changed after that. Anxiety began to consume everything I did: my schedule, exercise, diet, and social interactions — all of it revolved around avoiding an anxiety attack. I dropped out of college, and I blew through my savings seeing doctors. It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I was actually diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

But none of it was nearly as scary as when my daughter started to show signs of anxiety.

I have two daughters, and the youngest is four, so it’s a little too early to tell with her. But my oldest daughter, Norah, is nine, and she’s already a little ball of anxiety, particularly when it comes homework, testing, and friends.

As if my observations weren’t alarming enough, according to Lisa Damour, Ph.D, and author of the New York Times Bestseller Under Pressure, the number of girls who said that they often felt nervous, worried, or fearful jumped 55% from 2009 to 2014, while the number of adolescent boys experiencing anxiety has remained unchanged.

I’m with you: that increase gave me pause, too. I couldn’t help but look at my own daughter — who is only nine and already starting to show signs of anxiety — and wonder if her experience will be worse than my own. Damour told Scary Mommy there really isn’t one single reason for the increase in anxiety among girls. What’s more pressing isn’t the increase, but how parents and children respond to it.

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