Signs of Stress in Women


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Therapy with women always includes monitoring and addressing for signs of stress. Whether they are struggling with adhd, anxiety, depression, relationships issues, or something more minor, stress plays a crucial role in all my clients. As many other issues, women are 2x as likely to suffer from stress than men! Learn more about the causes. 

There are so many reasons. Women due 3x as much unpaid labor around the house as men.

At work we feel required to express positive emotions, and the research shows it. We are are much more likely, and expected to do surface acting, express empathy calmness and a positive attitude at work even when we don't feel like it. This is called emotional labor, and it's stressful and exhausting and when we don't live up to this ideal, we feel guilty and as if we haven't done our jobs at work and in our families adequately. 

Signs of stress in women often go missed. In our modern-day world, stress can be various things that create wear and tear on our bodies and minds. There are two kinds of stress, acute stress, and chronic stress.

Signs of Stress in Women: ACUTe Versus CHronic Stress

Acute stress is stress that results from discrete short-term stress: an exam, a job interview, or a first date. Acute stress can be exciting and can lead to a sense of achievement when it is over if completed successfully.

Long term or chronic stress is something that continues for more extended periods. Chronic stress can result from a stressful job such as being a nurse, social worker or teacher. It can be caused by doing the difficult work of caring for someone you love with an illness or a disability or being in an unhappy workplace. It can result from being in an unhappy relationship or the victim of emotional or physical abuse.  

Or it can result from a combination of these things. 

When you have modern-day chronic stress, your body, which has been wired to perceive stress as a physical danger will react as if it is under threat to survive. It perceives an imminent physical threat and sets off a chain of chemical and biological reactions that tax our bodies while preparing us for a life or death battle. Due to this response, modern-day chronic stress can seriously impair our mental and physical health. 


When your body perceives danger and kicks into fight or flight, your brain perceives the emotions of fear and anger. Fear is often translated into anxiety. Women who have chronic stress are often diagnosed with anxiety. 


Additionally, long-term chronic stress can result in fleeing and withdrawing behavior. This shutting down response can result in feelings of powerlessness that can so often lead to depression in women. 



These pages will discuss the facts about stress, what causes stress and how to deal with stress. The main page is linked to other pages that you can click on for information. Specifically, they will highlight how women can help themselves and what therapy with women does to help with stress.


Signs of stress in women resulting from this cycle:

  • Shut down
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Lack of energy
  • Not feeling like being with friends
  • Not feeling like doing fun things
  • Fatigued muscles
  • Feeling numb powerless or giving up
  • Wanting to sleep all the time
  • Wanting to eat too much or too little

Conversely, you can have a more activated state of stress where you feel:

  • Angry
  • Irritable
  • Out of control
  • Keyed up
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Sensitive or combative and defensive
  • You can have difficulty concentrating 
  • Have escape fantasies

Chronic stress puts your body and brain into a state fighting to survive and diverting resources into this state. This impacts both your body and your brain. These symptoms above are due to your biology. 


Aside from strategies discussed below to address the signs of stress, all treatments for women experiencing stress must address stress biology and teach women how to tune into stress in their bodies to gain some control over it. 

Signs of stress in women: Physical symptoms


  • Hair loss
  • Excessive sweating
  • Ruminating and worry
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Stomach problems such as IBS
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Infertility
  • Missed periods
  • Irregular periods
  • Acne
  • Panic attacks
  • Dizziness
  • Dry skin or oily skin
  • Difficulty with appetitive sometimes weight loss or gain
  • Hives or other skin rashes




Signs of Stress in women in the workplace

Signs of stress in women the workplace include:

  • feeling negative and overwhelmed
  • feeling defensive,
  • having physical symptoms such as being sick to your stomach, having headaches or  feeling dizzy
  • feeling exhausted
  • feeling powerless
  • Feeling responsible for others
  • feeling defensive
  • feeling apathetic
  • doing the bare minimum
  • being defensive and disconnected from coworkers. 
  • crying
  • being immobilized and unable to work

Stress in the workplace may consist of having too much work, not having the skills to do the work you are required to do, or having difficulty with colleagues. Much of the way corporations function these days adds to stress, which you can learn about here. Workplace stress is often most easily remedied by developing new coping skills to deal with the issues that are causing us stress. Please click here for more information on dealing with workplace stress

What are new coping skills? If, for example, the stress is coming from our relationship with your boss, learning how to best communicate and negotiate with your boss may be a skill to cultivate. If the stress comes from not having the knowledge you need to perform your job, then often the best way to handle that is to proactively get some education on skills, with or without the support of your employer.

If the stress is coming from a coworker , it may be important to figure out how to change how you are reacting or interacting with that person. At times employers will be flexible and accommodating, but we alone are responsible for taking care of ourselves. If you are a stressed employee, click here. Learn about a stress reducer game here. 


 SIgns of Stress in women :Relationship Stress

Stress from relationships is one of the most common forms of stress I see in my practice.

If you are having difficulty with your partner, it may be due to communication, being unhappy with who they are, or being unhappy with yourself. If you are unhappy with who your partner is, and changing them is a focus of your stress, it is important to either accept them or leave them. If you are unhappy with who you are, it may be necessary to get therapy to explore what you can do to feel better and live a happier life. If communication is the primary issue couples therapy may be a good option.

Signs of stress in women in relationships often include:

A women's relationship to her  children is often a significant source of stress as well.  Every mom  questions her parenting.  It's normal to struggle with your thoughts and feelings about your role as parent, or wanting more children or wanting no children. 

Additionally you may wonder about how your childhood and your relationship with your mother and father impact your ability to parent. Therapy for women can help you learn how to deal with stress.  My pages on parenting can help you if you have children with mental health issues. 

Some more on stress.

Holiday stress

School stress

Stress and Generalized anxiety disorder

Stress in childhood

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Medical information obtained from this website is not intended as a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you have a problem, you should consult a healthcare provider.