News and Research

Sex Differences in the Network Mediating Fear Learning and Extinction

With implications for anxiety disorders, substantial data indicate that structural, cellular, and molecular differences exist between the male and female brain regions, specifically the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex, important for cognition, memory, and affect. (Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders. 2012, 2:3) Read more.

Anxiety Disorders in Women

Margaret Altemus, MD

Director of the Payne Whitney Women's Program, Weill Medical College Department of Psychiatry  
Adjunct faculty, Rockefeller University, New York City


Pregnancy and Medication

Pregnant women with a history of anxiety or depression can face difficult and confusing choices about treating their symptoms with antidepressants and other medications.

Both anxiety disorders and depression are more likely to affect women than men, and women who are pregnant are not excluded. In fact, symptoms can develop or worsen during or after pregnancy, though in some cases women notice fewer symptoms while pregnant. Women can have an anxiety disorder and depression at the same time, too.


From the time a girl reaches puberty until about the age of 50, she is twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder as a man. Anxiety disorders also occur earlier in women than in men.

Women are also more likely to have multiple psychiatric disorders during their lifetime than men. The most common to co-occur with anxiety is depression.


Women are twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder as men. Find out why and get more facts.

Read more: "Not all depression is created equal: sex interacts with disease to precipitate depression"
(Biology of Sex Differences, 2013, 4:8)

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ADAA is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, OCD, PTSD, depression, and related disorders and to improving the lives of all people who suffer from them.