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Anxiety May Be Harder On Women Than Men

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(credit: CBS) Natalie Nyhus
Natalie Nyhus joined the WCCO-TV team in January of 2011. She anchors...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – For many people, balancing family life with work and everything else in between can get the best of you.

But a new study found anxiety causes women’s brains to work harder than men’s when put in the same situations.

The University of Michigan looked at 79 female college students and 70 male students. They were asked to figure out what the middle letter was in a group of five letters.

Then they were asked to take a survey on how much they worried on a daily basis.

Both groups did about the same on the letter test, but the women who said they were the bigger worriers had much higher levels of brain activity when they made mistakes, showing anxiety can affect performance.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, women are 60 percent more likely than men to experience an anxiety disorder. The average age of onset is just 11 years old.

Women are also more likely to have multiple psychiatric disorders at once. Those who suffer from anxiety also tend to be depressed.

Researchers think estrogen may play a factor and are currently looking into it. They do know estrogen affects the release of “dopamine,” a neurotransmitter involved in learning functions and comprehending errors in the front part of the brain.

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