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STRESS IN WOMEN Tag

Stress In Women COVID-19 has spread panic throughout the world. We don’t have any idea, how much will we be impacted and when is this pandemic going to end. The uncertainty and ambiguity surrounding the situation make it even more challenging and overwhelming.  As we stare into the fear of contracting the disease, unemployment, dwindling economy, starvation, and alcoholism, another public health crisis is gearing up in the background silently, which could be more fatal than coronavirus. The social and economic meltdown will create an atmosphere of uncertainty and panic, which could become the perfect breeding ground for stress, anxiety, depression, addictive behaviours, morbidity, and suicide. Everyone is having a hard time coping with this unprecedented situation. But the surprising fact is that there is a stark gender gap in how this unhappiness is distributed. Women are having a harder time than their male counterparts, juggling their career and family life. What is stress? Stress is a natural reaction of the body to any immediate threat or difficult situation. Stress response was honed as a homeostatic tool in our ancestors to make them more attentive towards a predator or impending danger. But nowadays, our challenges are emotional and psychological threats rather than physical ones, like a looming deadline or workplace competition. This may prove positive in some cases, by motivating us or sharpening our senses, but prolonged stress can have negative effects like increased heart rate, fluctuating blood pressure, rise in muscle tension, increased susceptibility to develop anxiety and depression which can deeply impact our health, mood, performance, and wellbeing. Effects of stress on women While stress can cause physical and psychological symptoms in both men and women alike, the intensity and reaction to stress has a strong relation to gender. Unlike men who have a “fight or flight reaction” to stress, with emotions ranging from rage, recklessness, and anger, women have a “tend and befriend” appxroach which is more apt for negotiating. The exact mechanism of this is not known, but the difference in brain and hormone levels is a possible cause of these exclusive reactions in women. The stress hormones produced in men are cortisol and adrenaline, whilst in women, in addition to these two, oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding, is secreted. This causes women to seek social support and try to reason out why they are feeling stressed, while men tend to withdraw socially and exhibit signs of rage and anger. But why

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