Constant anxiety can suggest that something is wrong with your life. It might be that you are not happy with the place you are in, you have a toxic environment, or you work too much. But sometimes, the causes of anxiety are exclusively physiological as hormonal disruptions provoke mood swings.
Let’s figure out how hormones and anxiety are connected and how to understand that the cause of stress is not outside but inside your body.
How Hormones And Anxiety Are Related
People keep blaming external reasons to be the major cause of anxiety, that being true in some cases, is not true for all. Hormones and anxiety are related much more than you know. Learn more here.
1. Anxiety Provokes Release Of Hormones And Vice Versa
In some ways, anxiety and hormones are like a snake eating its own tail. It’s hard to know where one ends, and the other begins. Anxiety triggers a stress response mechanism that stimulates the adrenal glands to produce hormones: cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine.
Excess cortisol suppresses the work of other hormones, including sex hormones, and a lack of them, in turn, leads to depression. When the anxiety trigger is gone, the person realizes that nothing threatens him or her.
But stress hormones continue to affect the body, provoking anxiety, depression, and emotional instability. Thus, anxiety triggers the release of hormones, and the release of hormones fuels anxiety.
2. Physical Signs Also Show Hormonal Anxiety
Hormones play an important role in our mood, motivation, and the overall health of various body systems. The fact that the cause of anxiety is not in psychological problems but in hormonal ones can be seen from some external signs.
For example, anxiety gets accompanied by sleep disturbance, decreased libido, and unusual hair growth for you (they become less frequent or, conversely, begin to appear where they were not previously). In this case, it is worth checking the level of hormones in the body and consulting a doctor.
3. Taking Hormonal Drugs To Balance Emotions
People take hormonal drugs for many reasons, and depending on this, the emotional response can be different. For example, hormonal contraceptives can sometimes increase anxiety in women. This is due to the increased testosterone levels; in other cases, hormonal medications, on the other hand, can help bring emotions back to normal and overcome anxiety.
For example, in andropause or pre-menopause, when the natural level of hormones decreases with age, the medication helps to return it to normal.
4. Hormonal Anxiety And The Menstrual Cycle
Increased anxiety can be associated with certain phases of the menstrual cycle. Since every woman experiences PMS symptoms differently, try keeping a mood and cycle diary to see how they relate.
Track your menstrual cycle with the online app and mark days when you feel unreasonably anxious and especially sensitive to stress. This will help you understand whether your emotional state is related to the cycle or the cause is in external triggers and psychological problems.
If you keep a diary, write down not only events but also what you felt on that day. Such notes will help you easily identify patterns in your well-being, find the cause of anxiety and take it under control.
5. Times When Anxiety Is Likely To Depend On Hormones
There are several stages in our life when the body undergoes serious hormonal changes, and this affects our emotional state. The first is adolescence. A sharp increase in the level of various hormones is a serious blow to the psyche and, unfortunately, not the last.
During andropause in men, testosterone levels decrease. In women with pre-menopause and menopause, the production of several sex hormones at once slows down – estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. During these periods, anxiety is a completely normal reaction of the body to changes, although it is easy to mistake it for another age crisis.
Another example of a serious hormonal shift is during the alcohol withdrawal process. During this process of substance withdrawal, the levels of estrogen and androgen rise, causing anxiety. Only after a few weeks, these hormones return back to their normal level.
Anxiety Can Worsen Your Physical Condition
Anxiety can manifest itself not only emotionally but also physically. For example, due to stress hormones, the endocrine system sometimes fails. This manifests itself in the form of rashes on the skin. Cortisol and adrenaline are associated with inflammation and can cause psoriasis or eczema.
Another way that anxiety affects the body is with gut problems. Stress hormones suppress the digestive system, weakening the intestines, which leads to abdominal pain, and bad stools.
It is important to understand that hormones can only affect your well-being and emotions, not decision-making or behavior. You are still in control of your actions and able to stay out of the way of stress. Experts recommend building resistance to hormonal anxiety by practicing patience, empathy, critical thinking, and mindfulness.
Women Are More Prone To Hormonal Anxiety
While anybody can suffer from anxiety due to hormonal imbalance, the chances are more common in women than in men. This is because they go through several biological changes such as menopause, pregnancy, postpartum depression, etc. All these changes cause hormonal imbalance making females more prone to anxiety.
If the anxiety is damaging your mental piece, visit your doctor because delaying such a condition would only worsen the situation. Besides, this anxiety can lead to depression which can be much harder to cure. Take action immediately to get treatment.
Anxiety and hormonal change both are interrelated, and one can cause the other to occur. Thus, instead of guessing the major cause of the irritation, you are facing, get a blood test done. It will help you identify the major cause of anxiety, whether it is hormonal or due to external factors. Besides, by learning about the cause of your problem, you can better decide which future actions to take.