Stressed Out Women

October 21, 2008

My sleep is not as sound as it used to be. I wake up worrying about financial issues. All my life I’ve been told to buy a house, put as much as possible toward retirement, and use advice about stock market issues. What’s that old adage of “don’t buy high and sell low?” Well, through actions beyond most of our control, I feel like that’s exactly what a lot of us have had to do as we watch the housing market continue to fall, the stock market acting like it hasn’t since the Great Depression, and retirement dreams turn into a nightmare.After a hard day. Photo by Margaret E. Vincent. This image is protected a Creative Commons license

An article in AAUW’s latest Washington Update shows that I am not alone. The article reports on a recent study by the American Psychological Association, Stress in America, which found that the nation is taking on more stress as a whole due to the burgeoning financial crisis and that this stress is causing increased physical and emotional health problems. However, women are more likely to experience stress due to the economic climate than men are. Some of the statistics provided included the following:

When compared with men, more women say they are stressed about money (83 percent vs. 78 percent), the economy (84 percent vs. 75 percent), job stability (57 percent vs. 55 percent), housing costs (66 percent vs. 58 percent) and health problems affecting their families (70 percent vs. 63 percent). Women in their mid-to-late 40s and older are the most likely to bear the burden of financial worry, and the effects of this increasing level of stress are great. The study found that women were more likely than men to report fatigue, irritability, depressed or sad feelings, and headaches due to stress. This has become increasingly true in the past year.

What is keeping you up at night?

Christy Jones, CAE By:   |   October 21, 2008


  1. Pam says:

    I can’t imagine not having a higher stress level these days, but my husband either denies it better or he is not voicing his opinons outloud, trying to reassure me. What keeps me up – how much further will this go and what will the final impact really be for all of us?

  2. Rusty says:

    I think men have the higher stress than they report. Maybe women are not as afraid to admit their stress. Finding and using good stress management skills is definately needed these days. I hope one of the silver linings in this cloudly time is women and men working together to solve problems and worry less about who has the greater stress levels. It was an interesting article Christy. Keep up the good work.

  3. Ellen says:

    Just add these worry factors to the burden of women who are caring for elderly, infirm parents and drug-addicted children. What a joy to drag oneself home at night after a looooonnnngggg day’s work only to catch the evening news! I’m just glad I have a job.

  4. christyjones christyjones says:

    I would imagine if someone made a “stressed out” chart like they do for stocks or gas prices, we would see the wild swings of the past months making for record highs, especially for those of the “sandwich” generation who are responsible for their parents and children simultaneously. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  5. Marian says:

    I understand how bad the economic situation is. Since I have always been very cautious with my spending, I am not changing much about that, but will rest more easily after there is relief for the world’s economy.

    What sometimes keeps me up at night is AAUW. I get so excited about all that I want to do and there isn’t time to do it. :>)

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