Anxiety disorder is the most common mental illness in the U.S, affecting 40 million adults ages 18 and older, or 18% of the population. Surging suicide rates — a 50% increase from 2000 to 2016, and increases were seen across all age groups. The highest suicide age range for women was 45-64 years old.
Among people age 15-34 suicide is the second leading cause of deaths in the United States. The problems most frequently associated with suicide, according to the CDC study;
- strained relationships
- life stress, often involving work or finances
- substance use problems
- physical health conditions
- recent or impending crises
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “the most important takeaway, mental health professionals say, is that suicide is an issue not only for the mentally ill, but for anyone struggling with serious lifestyle problems.”
We are going to explore through a series of blog post some of the root causes that Christian Women ignore or keep secret from family & friends. Most professionals focus on the link of depression with suicide. There is a step before depression that needs to be examined.
The early stages of the cycle begins with doubt, which feeds worry or fear. Why do women doubt? Lastly, the blog post will reveal areas of self-reflection every woman of faith needs to take to enable transforming their thinking, which will affect their confidence, beliefs and behavior.
Many Christians write off suicide as something happening in homes of unbelievers. Don’t be fooled, Christian households suicide rates are rising as well.
My Personal Experience with Anxiety- Suicide
I have personal experience with anxiety in the workplace as a single Mom of three sons;
- panic attacks
- gastrointestinal struggles
- sleepless nights
- migraine headaches
- high blood pressure
- chest pain
I told my ex-husband at the time to watch my kids. I knew I had mentally crossed a dangerous threshold. I needed help. I was afraid of me.I walked into a mental facility and told them I was afraid of what I might do. They kept me for 72 hours and I participated in group and one on one sessions with professionals and others. It was the life line I needed for my sanity.
It helped to open my eyes about self worth. Remember you always have the power to remove yourself from the trap.
Suicide is the manifestation of a deeper root issue that has been ignored in many cases;
- past sexual abuse
- identity issues
- low self esteem
Take a Step toward Healing
The church doesn’t always provide a clear opinion for treatment or support for;
- mental illness
Your family members are not equipped nor in many cases unable to support the healing process.
What can you do to stop the deadly pattern from crossing the threshold of your door?
- You can acknowledge the problem exist
- Learn about your root cause
- Practice offensive techniques to release the lies
- Seek professional and spiritual help asap
Women and Anxiety
Women are nearly twice as likely as men to suffer silently with anxiety disorder. As women, we learn to stuff our emotions and devalue the importance of getting help for ourselves due to many societal, religious, and family norms.
In recent years, the double digit rise in anxiety among women and young girls is a factor in the cycle influencing suicide.
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America:
- In the last year, women’s anxiety disorder rose above men to 23.4 % vs. 14.3% for men 2000-2016.
- Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36% of people receive treatment
- 30% of children and adolescents meet criteria for anxiety disorder. 80% will go untreated.
Do you have the signs of anxiety?
You might say, “Well, I don’t have anxiety issues that serious.”
I would challenge that mindset by sharing some of the emotional and behavioral aspects of anxiety. Did I hear you say, “What are the symptoms?”
- Feeling nervous, irritable, or on edge
- Having a sense of impending panic, danger, doom, unhappiness
- Feeling weak and tired often
- Indecisive and concerned about making a mistake
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
- Gastrointestinal problems
This first blog is to raise your awareness that suicide has no preference for color, race or age bracket. The unfortunate results do not only affect women, but every person and aspect of their life. For every mom there is a child watching that will mimic the learned behavior in the future.
As a Christian believer, what are your options for help? Anxiety is considered a treatable disorder but only 25% of women seek help.
Think about what you just read and begin to;
- list your anxiety symptoms
- what do you think are the root causes?
- Think about how long you have been experiencing symptoms or felt this way?
- Don’t judge whether they are significant or not
- What should you do to stop this cycle?
This week, I want you to present the areas of anxiety before God in your prayers and reach out to a professional counselor or Christian coach to begin the process of healing. You can also reach out to me for coaching sessions.
Each day for the next 7 days,
- bring your list to your prayer sessions.
- meditate and be proactive with these two or more scriptures:
- “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
1 Peter 5:7
- “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Read Part Two blog next week for solutions, & strategies to reduce anxiety.
Lisa Hawkins, Best Selling Amazon Author- Christian Warrior Women, Speaker, Executive, Ordained Minister, Life Coach and Online Christian Masterclass Instructor. Lisa is a Syracuse University and eCornell MBA graduate. Lisa has been coaching and ministering to women, couples and youth for over 10 years. She has extensive training in healing. To contact or subscribe to her blog or website www.lisahawkinsauthor.com,