If you're an old friend, you probably know that my anxiety began when I was in elementary school. I was prone to anxiety from the get go. Whether I was worried about my dad being gone for the weekend, tornados, house fires or quicksand (yes, I was afraid I would die in quicksand....) there was always a laundry list of worries that ran laps in my head. As I hit middle school and the hormones kicked in, those anxious thoughts and feelings drastically increased. Enter my first panic attack and my first round of obsessive and compulsive thoughts that stayed front and center in my brain from the time I woke up until the time I could finally go to sleep at night.
If I was having fun, anxiety was still under the surface. If I was tired, watch out! If I was hormonal, run for your life and take my life with you. It was a cycle of panic, fear, or the expectation of both to return any minute. Through high school, college, and well into my adult life I continued to build a bank of bad anxiety habits in the effort to keep me sane and "safe". I was neither.
I can only assume that if you are reading this you are experiencing anxiety or you love someone who experiences anxiety. After all, women are more likely than men to deal with anxiety disorders and nearly 20% of American adults live with anxiety disorders. That's 66.5 MILLION people running around feeling just as lousy as us! This is one time when we really can be sure that misery loves company. What's even scarier, 44% of women who live with other women have their periods at the same time due to cycle syncing and if anxiety is involved... God bless the men of the house.
As if wanting to eat every piece of chocolate and bread in sight then snot cry while watching sappy commercials isn't enough, let's talk about how anxiety rolls in when your hormones are bouncing around. Are you feeling me already? Whether it's your teen daughter, your mother, or you, hormones are both a blessing and curse and they absolutely can and do influence anxiety; especially if you are already prone to anxious thoughts and feelings.