“All of us at anxietycentre.com have experienced debilitating anxiety. But we’ve also overcome it and returned to normal and lasting health. Because we know the hardship anxiety unwellness can cause, we are committed to helping others, with over 30 years of service.” - Jim Folk, President, anxietycentre.com

Anxiety Symptoms In Men

Jim Folk author
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated: August 11, 2019


anxiety symptoms in men

Anxiety can affect all age groups and genders. Even though anxiety symptoms can be similar for all people, there are some gender differences. This “Anxiety Symptoms In Men” article explains these differences and how you can use this information to reduce their impact.

Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety can create many physiological, psychological, and emotional symptoms including:

To name a few. For a comprehensive list of anxiety symptoms, visit our Anxiety Disorders Symptoms and Signs article.


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Anxiety Symptoms In Men

The majority of anxiety symptoms in men and women are similar, but there are some anxiety symptom differences.[1][2]

For instance, anxiety activates the body’s fight or flight response (also known as the stress response). The stress response causes the body to secrete stress hormones into the bloodstream where they travel to targeted spots to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that enhance the body’s ability to deal with a threat – to either fight or flee.[3][4]

Stress hormones affect other hormones, including male hormones, such as testosterone,[5] which can result in reduced sex drive.

Men are also different neurologically and biologically.[6][7] These differences can cause behavioral differences.

For instance, where women are more emotional and like to share their feelings and problems as a way of reducing stress, men are less likely to. Men tend to bottle up their emotions, try to problem-solve on their own, and prefer solitude when stressed. As such, men aren’t as expressive as women.

Men also tend to be anxious about different things than women. Finances, supporting the family, the responsibility of children, career matters, being successful, being financially secure, and so on, are common fears among men whereas they are less prominent in women.

Also, men secrete less oxytocin,[8] a hormone that reduces stress’s impact. Consequently, stress takes a greater toll on men than women.

As for the number of men and women who suffer with anxiety disorder, research has found anxiety disorder is more prevalent in women – almost twice as many women experience anxiety disorder than men.[9]

However, our experience working with anxiety disorder sufferers over the last 17 years has shown the difference between men and women with anxiety disorder is less than that (41 percent of men versus 59 percent of women).

A reason for this difference is that men generally don’t talk about their anxiety issues or come forward with them as often as women. Part of the subculture of men is to keep things inside and manage on their own whereas women are more open to talking about their struggle with anxiety disorder.

Overall, even though anxiety can produce similar symptoms for men and women, there are some subtle differences between men and women.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.


Additional Resources:


Return to Anxiety Disorders Signs and Symptoms section.


REFERENCES:

1. Horst, J.P., et al. "Relevance of Stress and Female Sex Hormones for Emotion and Cognition." Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, 24, Nov. 2012.

2. Roney, James R., et al. "Elevated Psychological Stress Predicts Reduced Estradiol Concentrations in Young Women." Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, Mar. 2015.

3. Selye, H. (1956). The stress of life. New York, NY, US: McGraw-Hill.

4. Harvard Health Publishing. “Understanding the Stress Response.” Harvard Health, May 2018.

5. Tovian, Steven, et al. "Stress Effects on the Body." American Psychological Association, August 2019.

6. Goldman, Bruce. "Two Minds: The cognitive differences between men and women." Stanford Medicine, spring 2017.

7. Ngun, Tuck, et al. "The Genetics of Sex Differences in Brain and Behavior." Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, Apr. 2011.

8. Gao, Shan, et al. "Oxytocin, the peptide that bonds the sexes also divides them." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 5 July 2016.

9. McLean, Carmen, et al. "Gender Differences in Anxiety Disorders: Prevalence, Course of Illness, Comorbidity and Burden of Illness." Journal of Psychiatric Research, Aug. 2011.